TechBirmingham Blog

Archive for July, 2018

Camp Innovation Recap!

It is two weeks after our Kids Code Camp, and I am still feeling so pumped about spending two insane weeks of technology immersion in the basement of Atlas RFID. I still am amazed that of how much we covered in such a short amount of time and blown away at how this came together because of the amazing community of TechBirmingham. This camp would not have been made possible without the financial contributions, and the time our members gave up from their busy work weeks to come and help us with operating camp.

The first week, we had 4 very unique devices prototyped by the kids, which included LED light shows, noise amplifiers, a thermostat, Arduino processors, and 80’s music. In the second week, the kids learned to program in Python to create their own unique games, by Friday we had games that resembled Space Invaders, a Zombie Role Playing Game, a Food Fight Game and a Platform Game. The kids learned how to brainstorm, work in teams, design, QA and so much more. Many of the kids shared that they want to return next year, and the kids who are now too old want to return to be volunteers next year.

Next year, our instructors have expressed that they would like to return as well, and we discussed the possibility of offering a longer game development camp so the kids can have deeper understanding of the material, expanding the program to include one week for upper elementary, and maybe using this year’s camp attendees as the first cohort for creating an academy that will run through the year.

Our team was lead Week 1 by Keiah Shauku and Vinny Chiaramonte who provided instruction on basic circuitry and programming Arduino processors the first week along with Team Leaders Amrita Lakhanpal, Robert Pique, Akili Shauku, Viraj Kaker, Hampton Walker, Anisha Ali, and Nicole Mubarak. Week 2 was lead by Nicole Mubarak, Shehzan Maredia, and Team Leaders, Akili Shauku, Andrew Gelderman, Viraj Kaker, Maya Leonard, Taylor Bowser, and Ami Gelderman in teaching the kids game development programming in Python. We also had over 40 volunteers that rotated throughout the week representing many of our member companies such as DST Health Solutions, BBVA Compass, Regions, Kinetic Communications,

We would like to recognize our sponsors for their generosity and their support of our program. Atlas RFID provided us for two whole weeks making us feel at home in their office space. DST Health Solutions awarded a grant that made it possible for us to purchase Elegoo Circuit kits for campers and develop curriculum to teach these campers, AND they sent eight of their interns who helped with organizing supplies and encouraging the kids. Shipt and Planet Fundraiser provided scholarships, meals, and funds to purchase supplies, and sent speakers to come and inspire the kids to continue growing in their thirst for learning technology skills. We had members of the Protective Enterprise Team rally together to provide scholarships for three students. Maynard Cooper & Gale, Seven Nine Foundation, McLeod Software, Sigao Studios, Groveland Baptist Church, Screenshots for Kids, and several private donors provided scholarships for campers. We had over 40 kids apply for scholarships, and we were able to award 27 scholarships. Hopefully next year, we’ll be able to increase that number and increase our impact on the community!

If you didn’t get to join us for the fun this year, please consider helping next year! There are so many kids in our community that need programs like this in order to gain the skills needed for a brighter tomorrow.

-Christina Smith

read more