STEM Summer Camp Prepares Youth for the Future

Three local nonprofits KomputerED Tools, UPI Education, and Linking Sports & Communities (LSC) partnered to host STEM Locomotion Summer Camp.

Phoenix, AZ, August 20, 2017 –(PR.com)– “Education at all levels in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) develops, preserves, and disseminates knowledge and skills that convey personal, economic, and social benefits,” said the National Science Foundation. Arizona, which ranked 48th in nationwide school rankings in 2015, has, according to Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute, more than 92,000 youth between 16 and 24 years old, who are not in school or working in the Phoenix area. Therefore, STEM education provides a unique opportunity for Arizona to tackle an unemployment problem that threatens the state’s future economy viability. The Komputer Kids STEM Locomotion Summer Camp, held on six consecutive Saturdays from June 24 to August 5th, 2017, at the Lattie F. Coor Hall in Tempe, Arizona, sought to engage, educate and excite youth about STEM careers. The workshops were hosted by three local nonprofits— KomputerED Tools, UPI Education, and Linking Sports & Communities (LSC).

This camp is a fun and educational chance for students from 2nd to 11th grades to learn fundamental skills that will prepare them for the rigors of school, college and life. This years attendance was a huge success with 116 students participating in the camp. Karen Crawford, Founder of KomputerED Tools said, “This camp differs from most, in that our students learn how to Design and Code, instead of just Drag and Drop. Our methodology focuses on teaching skills that enhance logic, critical thinking and problem solving, while teaching students to write basic computer programs from scratch.”

The program also sought to demonstrate how STEM skills can be applied to a wide variety of careers. On July 15, LSC hosted a panel discussion, where Cameron Colvin (Rise Above Enterprises and LSC), Aimee Dulebohn (Phoenix Raceway) and Dustin Payne (Arizona DBacks) discussed the role of STEM in sports and in their careers.

“I grew up in an era when being Black or a woman was a disqualifier for any science or technical position; so I was a pioneer in environmental sciences,” said Denise Meridith, Founder of LSC and moderator of the panel. “We still have a lot of work to do in getting employers to recognize the talents of women and people of color, and in encouraging talented youth to pursue careers in STEM, despite the hurdles placed in their way. LSC wants to encourage student athletes to make a STEM career their Plan B for success.”

Many other local academic, community and business organizations understand the need for, and potential of, programs like this one. Some of the partners for this years programs include The Arizona Community Foundation, State Farm, The Phoenix AKARAMA Foundation, Arizona State, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, PepsiCo, Intel, SRP, On Semi-Conductor, American Public Works Association Diversity Committee, B Sweets Catering and The Safe Haven Foundation.

Frank Crump, Founder, UPI Education said, “It has been a joy working with KomputerED Tools and Linking Sports & Communities. Likewise, the overwhelming support of community sponsors, volunteers, parents and grandparents indicates that there is a serious community interest in early childhood, youth/teen development within the STEM fields. Clearly, there is much work to be done, if we expect to prepare our children to be competitive on the world stage. We need more organizations, sponsors and donors to come together in unifying their resources and talents, if we truly expect to provide our children with the tools they will need to be successful.”

More information can be obtained about the computer camps and these non-profit organizations by contacting: KomputerED Tools (Karen@KomputerEDTools.com), UPI Education (http://upieducation.org) and Linking Sports & Communities (http://www.linkingsports.org).