South Arkansas Community College offers coding camp for 5th-8th grade girls

Local News

EL DORADO, Arkansas (07/16/19) — It’s a camp just for girls and they’re using their minds to create projects at their fingertips.

“I thought it was going to be very fun and trust me it is,” Addie Wheeler said.

Wheeler will be heading into the 6th grade this August. She has taken technology classes at her middle school but it was nothing quite as extensive as what the camp is offering.

“My mom heard about the camp and thought it would be a good idea for me in the summer since I don’t have that much to do,” Wheeler said. “So, it was a win-win because it helps me learn all about coding.”

The three week camp is being offered by the South Arkansas Community College. They received a grant from Verizon last year to support STEM education for middle school girls.

The coding camp is introducing the girls to all kinds of STEM technology including augmented and virtual reality. They also create programs using 3-D printers, tablets and iPads to get them inspired on how they can use technology.

“They’re targeting girls because in middle school is when girls typically fall off in math and science,” Harrell said,

The girls have free access to technology all day from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m; the kind of technology that’s stimulating to the brain. The girls are able to do any and everything their creative minds lead them to do.

“It’s awesome,” Amila Hall said.

Hall will be heading into the 7th grade at Barton Junior High School this upcoming school year. She’s met many friends on just the second day of camp and is looking forward to what’s ahead.

“I feel like it is a good chance in the future,” Hall said. “If i wanted to start coding or even doing stuff like this, I would already have a head start.”

The girls are also offered free meals and transportation throughout the three weeks and the camp goes beyond the summer days, too. The girls will participate in one Saturday session each month throughout the year.

“We’re trying to keep them inspired to use technology so they go on to use technology in more creative and interesting ways,” Harrell said.

Parents have until Friday July 19 to sign their child up. For more information, contact the South Arkansas Community College.

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