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Registration for GlobalHack’s first ever youth summer camp is now open. Known best for its hackathons, the organization has been holding educational workshops over the last year and decided to launch this summer’s multi-week camp so that it could teach a larger number of St. Louis youth to code.
The camp is founded on GlobalHacks’ primary mission: to reach, teach and create a generation of young people who are “coding literate.” Beth Casagrand, GlobalHack’s Director of Youth Programs, explains the camp’s focus as “widening the pipeline for future programmers” by getting youth to create something with code and make them interested in pursuing it at a young age.
Of course, GlobalHack’s existing workshops have been accomplishing this mission; since last February, the organization has hosted day-long introductory workshops in web development, game design and app development. There are limitations that coincide with a three-hour course, however, and they noticed a gap in the market for a more in-depth curriculum.
“[The workshops are] touch points and are wonderful. They might serve someone who is interested in coding, but they were not as rigorous or in-depth as we’d like them to be. Our workshops give students a great basis of learning, showing them what they can do and getting them started with code,” said Casagrand. Offering week-long courses through a summer camp will allow students to take their coding to the next level and give students more time to go deeper.
Taking place on the campus of University of Missouri – St. Louis, the GlobalHack summer camp will run from June 5 to August 4. The curriculum consists of four weeks of content, covering Coding 101, Intro to Game Design, Intro to App Development and Intro to Web Development.
Week to week, classes are independent of the other and registration is a la carte. This allows students to enroll in classes that interest them, be it for a single week, all four, or even repeating the classes for a total of eight weeks of camp, giving students an opportunity to take the courses again to refine their skills. Class sizes are small–capped at 25 students–and each class is grouped by age (10-13 year olds and 14-18 year olds) so that teachers can give age-appropriate instruction and no prior coding experience is necessary.
A Focus on Accessibility
Another primary goal for the camp is to offer a program that is accessible, equitable and diverse. To achieve this, GlobalHack’s team designed the summer camp so that it addresses barriers that prevent student attendance, chief among them transportation, cost, and meals.
“When we did an environmental scan, we noticed that right now, there are coding camps that are purposefully for students in under-resourced areas and who are considered at-risk, and there are other camps that have such a high price point they aren’t accessible to middle class families.” For comparison, GlobalHack’s $299/week price point is less than half the cost of WashU’s iD Tech Camp (which averages $900week).
“We are purposefully building an inclusive camp. Our goal is for half of our students to be on scholarship,” Casagrand explains. “Half of our students will be not only on scholarship but will also [be provided with] transportation. It’s easy to give scholarships and say ‘Hey, I did my best,’ without addressing whether the kids get food and transportation.” The thinking is that by providing logistical support in these ways, the camps can be more accessible to students of varied backgrounds, setting it apart from other programming summer camps in the area.
It’s clear that students interested in programming and coding would benefit from attending GlobalHack’s camps, but students of all interests are encouraged to enroll. GlobalHack is teaching, one individual at a time, how important coding and coding literacy is for everyone. “I think this is super important for kids who are artistic or a creative type,” Casagrand explains. “Whatever their specific interest, I think they will find something they can develop. They’ll be working on an app. They’ll be working on a website. To be able to create something around an area you’re interested in is so powerful.”
How to Enroll
Early bird specials for registration continue throughout the month of March. Registration will close once the 25 slots in each class are filled. Learn more about the camp and register here.
Ages: 10-13; 14-18
Dates: June 5- August 4 (No camp July 4th week)