What is an App camp? Jody Clarke-Midura is an assistant professor in the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences program at Utah State University. She works with the App Camp which started a few years ago.
“So the camps are 3 hours long, they’re 5 days, Monday through Friday and they’re geared for kids entering 6th, 7th and 8th grade and they learn how to make apps for Android devices” said Clarke-Midura.
Clarke-Midura says participants don’t need any computing experience to take part in the camp.
“So block programming is a lot different from actual coding, it’s a really nice entryway. You’re kind of almost matching puzzle pieces together, so it’s very visual and it’s also creative because you’re designing” said Clarke-Midura.
Megan Hamilton is a graduate research assistant in the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences program. She works with camp organizers to create one-of-a-kind projects.
“I’d say one of my favorites is the selfie slideshow because they get to take pictures and put them into their phone and then there are some that are a little bit more creative, they’re adding background music,” said Hamilton. “I know that girls really enjoy doing that and personalization is a huge part of it”
Clarke-Midura says the program is especially important for young girls.
“I think there’s a problem right now, there’s not enough women in computing and the thing that’s ironic about that, is that in Utah there’s so many jobs that are going to be in computer science,” said Clarke-Midura.
In Utah only 17% of high school students taking computer science AP tests are female. Additionally, at Utah State, only 14% of computer science majors are female, slightly below the national average of 18%.
“So you have Silicon Valley in California, we have Silicon Slopes down in Utah County and you have industries like Adobe looking for people and oftentimes you can work remotely,” said Hamilton.
The boy’s camp is full, but there are still many spots and scholarships available for girls to join.
To see more pictures and videos from last year’s APP Camp visit their website here.