Kidtek U Give Kids Chance to Explore Interests

04/18/2016

Registration for SCC’s popular Kidtek U summer learning program will open at STEMFest on April 23, on SCC’s West Burlington campus from 10AM to 2PM. Regular open registration will start on Monday, April 25. Registrations will be accepted via phone, in person, or online at www.kidteku.com.

Kidtek U camps will cover over 30 topics, offered in 57 sessions at five locations across the region. Camps include robotics, electronics, digital storytelling, creative writing, music and theater, languages, LEGO engineering, Minecraft programming, welding, and cooking.

SCC’s Kidtek U program developer Kelly Pricket says, “In 2014, we launched Kidtek U with a handful of camps and enrolled about 100 students. It was really well received and so we doubled capacity and added more classes in 2015. That turned out to be successful and so we expanded again this year. It’s pretty exciting.”

Pricket continues that officials at Great Prairie Area Education Agency approached SCC organizers last year about handing off coordination of its summer enrichment program. Once details were ironed out, organizers took the best aspects of summer enrichment and incorporated them into Kidtek U.

“Great Prairie’s summer enrichment covered a wide variety of topics, while Kidtek U focused heavily on STEM and tech careers.  We knew that to expand our program to appeal to more kids, we needed to roll in non-STEM classes in areas like arts, crafts, and general interest topics. This year’s program is now an all-inclusive opportunity for the kids in the area, regardless of their interest.”

Pricket says organizers have set a goal of over 600 registrations. “With all the changes we’ve made and classes we’ve added, I feel good about achieving it.”

Don Weiss, Executive Director of SCC’s Center for Business, echoes Pricket’s enthusiasm.  “There is certainly a need for high-quality camps for kids, and SCC has the resources to offer a program of this size and scope that not only entertains kids, but gives them a chance to see how their interests could lead to exciting careers.”

Another addition this year is a selection of advanced camps for students in grades 7-9.

Pricket says that she’s often asked by parents to provide the same kind learning camps for their older kids. As a result, organizers added a number of advanced camps geared directly for young teens.

“Offering the advanced camps supports our goal of expanding access to learning for as many kids as we can.”

Camps will take place in June and July at sites in Fort Madison, Keokuk, Mount Pleasant, and West Burlington.  Each camp runs Monday to Friday from either 9AM to noon or 1 to 4PM.

SCC will once again offer free shuttle service between the communities so students can attend camps only offered in select locations.

Pricket says a limited number of full and partial scholarships will be available for families that meet certain requirements.

“Even community organizations have gotten behind the program. They believe that Kidtek U can have such a positive impact on kids, they’re willing to help pay for kids to go.”

Scholarship underwriters include Lee County Economic Development Group, the Greater Burlington Partnership and Alliant Energy.

“SCC is a community college and we’re here to serve everyone. That’s why we’re trying hard to take away as many barriers as we can. Every kid should have the opportunity to attend,” explains Prickett.

Advanced registration kicks off on Saturday, April 23 at STEMFest at the SCC West Burlington Campus. The event runs from 10AM to 2PM and offers fun for the entire family including hands-on activities involving science, technology, engineering, and math.

“There’s about 1000 people who come to STEMFest. With its focus on STEM, it’s a great chance for kids to see what’s out there and match it up with a camp,” says Weiss. “Even with so many more offerings this year, some of the Kidtek U sessions will fill up fast. Come to STEMFest and beat the rush.”

Alliant Energy will also award a limited number of free registrations over the course of the day.

Individual camps cost $179 and registration is easy. Parents can sign up by phone at 319-208-5375, in person at any SCC location, or online at www.kidtekucom. Open registration starts Monday, April 25.

Parents interested in signing up for a camp while at STEMFest must provide their child’s social security number at time of registration.

To learn more about Kidtek U and to view the schedule, visit www.kidteku.com.

For more news or to learn about Southeastern Community College, visit: http://www.scciowa.edu/rss/news/index.html