It’s RIT Summer Camp for Children Interested in Engineering and Computing
Outreach focuses on underrepresented populations entering fields with emphasis on women
July 24, 2007
by Michael Saffran or Kelly Downs
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It’s not summer school—it’s summer camp at Rochester Institute of Technology for two groups of area school children, thanks, in part, to Microsoft Corp.
Seventh-grade and eighth-grade girls are at RIT for Everyday Engineering Summer Camp 2007, July 23-27, featuring daylong, hands-on sessions about the engineering behind common, everyday items—things such as cars, compact discs, sneakers and faucets.
Designed to open the eyes of camp participants to the engineering that’s all around them, camp activities—led by RIT students and faculty and area middle-school teachers—include learning the science of the butterfly habitat, making a battery out of fruit, and designing and programming a robot.
Everyday Engineering Summer Camp is sponsored by WE@RIT, an organization in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering that sponsors programs for young women interested in engineering studies and careers. For more information, visit http://www.rit.edu/~women.
The camp is supported by a $5,000 grant from Microsoft Corp.
Participants in another camp, RIT Summer Computer Science Camp, running through Aug. 17, are building their own personal computers. Twenty-five students, ages 14 and 15, primarily from the Rochester City School District, are attending a six-week summer camp hosted by RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences and RIT’s Office of K-12 Programs. The camp is sponsored by a $40,000 federal grant offered through Rochester Works. Microsoft donated $15,000 in software. Over the course of the next three weeks, students will build computers, install and test software. They are also learning about various safe computing issues such as online predators, spyware, firewalls and how to use anti-virus programs. Afternoon sessions focus on professional development skills such as resume writing, preparing for a job interview and interpersonal communication.
Almost half of the students enrolled in the computing camp are girls. Both camps are examples of the various outreach programs RIT conducts to encourage young women to enter the computing and engineering fields.