Every year, the RIT K-12 Academy is responsible for conducting camps that help kids from elementary to high school to enhance their knowledge. Kids on Campus, which has been in existance for 30 years and is the oldest and largest of RIT’s camps, is designed for kids from fifth grade on and is primarily focused on technology and computing. The Director of Kids on Campus, Chandra McKenzie, shared more information with us about the workshops being held this summer.
Hosting an average of 200 kids per week, Kids on Campus runs 21 two-week workshops throughout the month of July. Every morning, participants gather at Golisano College of Computing and Information Science and are directed to labs and studios throughout campus. Instructors include a group of interested faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students from various disciplines.
The day at this camp includes a total of four workshop hours, an hour of recreation, another hour for lunch and two hours of optional extended day.
Some of the workshops currently being held include Creative Coding, Website Design, Photoshop Foundations, Mobile App Development, GenCyber: Cybersecurity Exploration and Digital Art. There are more traditional art classes offered such as Metals and Jewelry Design and. Women in Computing, also known as WiC, is also hosting a “Girls Tech it Up” workshop for Android mobile app development to encourage girl students to take interest in the area of computing.
Recreation is considered an important part of this camp, providing participants with a little time for relaxation and socialization. The children can choose from activities such as drawing, swimming in the aquatics center, and playing board games or mind challenges.
Afterwards, the kids gather at RITZ for lunch where they are offered a carefully outlined food menu. The menu has been excellently designed by RIT Dining Services, keeping in mind the nutritional requirement of kids and the alternative options needed for kids with allergies. Feedback, collected by surveying the children at the end of the camp, is reviewed to incorporate any changes necessary for improvement.
Optional extended hours are available for the kids whose parents need them. The extended hours give them an opportunity to participate in games or quieter activities.
The kids are smart and they love what they do here,” said McKenzie. “This makes them come again for new workshops year after year.”
“Students have been known to attend these programs as kids and later opt to be instructors as RIT students,” she went on.
If you have some amazing ideas that can be ideal for kids’ summer camps, share them! If you’d like to be an instructor, keep an eye out for the job openings on the Student Employment Office (SEO) website next year.