The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the professional society of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) hosted 27 students from Mission Arlington at the first UTA-AITP Knowledge and Innovation Development for Students (KIDS) Camp held August 3-7 at the UTA Campus.
The KIDS Camp is a summer camp designed to get youth excited about information technology careers. With the declining enrollment in the computer science and information systems fields at our colleges, UTA and AITP understand the need to educate our youth, K-12, to develop our next generation of innovators and leaders.
The Camp was created and instructor-led by the UTA AITP Student Chapter members with assistance by volunteers from the UTA Information Systems Division staff and the AITP Dallas Professional Chapter. "As graduating students of UTA, we feel it is imperative that we share our knowledge with young students and encourage them to continue their education path from middle school to high school to college," said John Jelinek, UTA AITP Student Chapter President. "Technology is an integral part of our everyday lives and the IT industry offers an exciting opportunity for careers today and the future."
Classes were held in a fun learning atmosphere and included hands-on learning in the computer labs where students learned 3-D animation through object oriented programming, movie making, t-shirt graphic design, and building web pages. Special activities included interactive team building exercises, a tour of the campus and a visit to the UTA Planetarium. During orientation each day, the instructors held discussions with the young students about internet safety and the potential dangers of posting profile information and talking to virtual strangers online.
"UTA and AITP have indeed accomplished the goal of sharing new and useful information about technology and motivated our youth to explore new opportunities in the computer world", said Debbie Simmons, Mission Arlington volunteer. "You have shown compassion, insight and a vision for the future by investing your time and talents into tomorrow's leaders."
The Camp was supported by corporate diamond sponsor, Aviall Services, Inc., and several individual donors. With such strong financial support, the Camp provided free attendance, class materials, lunch and snacks, t-shirts, take home goodie bags, and raffle prizes that included daily drawings for gift cards from Footlocker and Best Buy and two Acer Netbook grand prize drawings on the final day of camp.
The KIDS Camp has been officially approved by UTA to be held annually and next year's camp is scheduled for August 2-August 6, 2010.