Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Techie Camp: Can We Expand STEM-Based Training for Elementary and Middle School Students?

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) continues to work with Tech Corps Ohio and Tech Corps Texas to create a national pilot program for Techie Camps that would take place in June-July 2011.   
Our vision is to have 10 classes -- 2 each in 5 cities - one class for elementary school students, the other class for middle school students.    20 students in each class -- the student is responsible for $350 tuition to attend Techie Camp.   Two BDPA instructors for each class who would be paid a stipend for their week in these 40-hour (M-F) Techie Camps.   There are four existing curriculum for BDPA to choose from -- programming, web development, robotics or android mobile applications, however, we are going to limit the 2011 summer pilot program to only programming or web development.

We have targeted five cities for the pilot program: Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Philadelphia (or No. Delaware) and Washington DC.     We have heard back from the chapter presidents in Cincinnati, Dallas and Washington DC.  These 3 chapters are on-board and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is being drafted to share with these 3 chapters.    We have not heard back yet from Philadelphia (or No. Delware) or Chicago chapter as of the typing of this update.

There are 3 benefits to BDPA for engagement in this pilot program:
BDPA So Minnesota Students
  1. SITES Program - Our existing program is defined as K-12, however, we only have strong programs at the high school level.   Techie Camp gives BDPA a chance to use an existing and proven curriculum to have a credible program for elementary school (3rd thru 5th graders) and middle school (6th thru 8th graders).   Over time it would be an excellent feeder program for our high school computer camps and HSCC championship teams.
  2. Support Unemployed BDPA Members or HSCC Alumni - Each Techie Camp requires 2 instructors.   We want existing BDPA members or HSCC alumni who are back from college and need summer employment to fill these instructor slots.   Great member benefit to offer within your chapter.
  3. Membership - The 20 students in each class will be provided a student membership (value: $25).   The $500 funding to support these 20 student members would go to the local chapter where the students live.   The contact information for the student membership would be directed to their parent or guardian.   Any chapter interested in getting a quick influx of 20 new members this summer?!?  :)
BETF and Tech Corps are currently working on a joint grant proposal to see if we can get at least 70% of the tuition payments underwritten by a corporate sponsor so that we can reach out to under-served students who may never have chance for this type of STEM-based training at such an early age. 

I will try to keep you informed of our continuing efforts on this project ... however, you should feel free to reply to this message with any questions that you might have.

4 comments:

Villager said...

We have four chapters actively engaged with us in creating this pilot Techie Camp program -- Cincinnati, Dallas, Northern Delaware and Washington DC. We are awaiting reply from BDPA Chicago chapter about their interest in being part of this pilot program that targets STEM-based training for elementary and middle school students.

We'll keep you informed of our progress!

DP said...

Don't forget about Houston Wayne. We're excited about the partnership and the team looks like its coming together here down here in H-Town!

Kai Ajala Dupé said...

I am in Houston DP. I would LOVE to connect on this initiative.

Villager said...

Today is a good BDPA day!

I just got off a conference call with Tech Corps representatives and BDPA chapter representatives. We spent the past hour going over the Techie Camp pilot program that plan to host in Cincinnati, Dallas, No. Delaware, Philadelphia and Washington DC. The program will take 2 weeks (1 week for elementary students; 1 week for middle school students). It is an opportunity for BDPA to expand its SITES program down to the 3rd-8th grade level in a way that we've never been able to do before.

The BDPA representatives on the phone included:

* Cincinnati - Wanda Gray
* Dallas - Chris Johnson, Stacy Stewart, Chad White
* No. Delaware - Karen Smith
* Philadelphia - Hayward West, Eileen Gadsden
* Washington DC - Perry Carter

The Tech Corps representatives included:

* Tech Corps Ohio - Lisa Chambers, Aung Nay and Janice (?)
* Tech Corps Texas - Danny Perry

The BETF representative was me.

I hope that some of the BDPA representatives will see this message and share their thoughts on the Techie Camp pilot program as well.