The Academy for Career Exploration (ACE), a district charter school in Providence, RI, hosted a Bootstrap Summer Coding Camp this past summer in an effort to keep students engaged with learning during the summer months.
Two Brown University, computer science students interned with Bridge to teach the four week course where students utilized concepts of both algebra and computer programming to create their own video game. The end goal of the program was to have students create a simple, three character game which had a player, a target, and a foe. Participants then worked to bring their games to life by choosing their own genre and designing the characters. They used algebraic concepts to detect collisions, handle keystrokes, and determine how the characters would move and interact.
At the conclusion of the camp, students presented their finished video games to Governor Gina Raimondo, Chief Innovation Officer Richard Culatta, and our very own Joe Devine. Game plots ranged from the classic tale of a prince rescuing a princess, to the main character on a quest to gather food, to Shrek themed. It was inspiring to see the excitement on the students’ faces as they shared the final versions of their games. Each student had taken time out of their precious summer to learn a new skill and worked hard to create a video game that they were proud to show off.
We love to highlight technical education events like these because they make an effort to keep students actively learning during the summer months. Students are constantly learning new material for the majority of the year, and suddenly summertime rolls around and the amount of learning engagement drastically drops.
Programs like the ACE Bootstrap Summer Camp are great ways to reduce the amount of summer learning loss among kids. When students who have taken part in educational summer camps return to school in the fall, they are less likely to have forgotten lessons learned the year before. Like Governor Raimondo said to students, “It’s really great that you’re taking the time this summer. And you know what? Because you’re here doing this this summer, I know you’re going to be successful.”
Raimondo also pointed out how coding skills are becoming more important in the job search, “In the next six years, Rhode Island businesses will create thousands of computer jobs and math jobs. Programs like ACE’s Bootstrap Summer Camp teach our kids important computer coding skills that will allow them to design their own futures.” (quote via the Providence Journal) And you know what? We couldn’t agree more.
Before the end of ACE Bootstrap Summer Camp, one student was the lucky winner of a Lenovo laptop and others were given Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards.