Saturday, March 25, 2023

Summer camps in Rockford teach 21st-century skills


Several northern Illinois students participated last week in fun summer camps that focused on 21st-century skills, report Ella Gray, Maren Blakeney, Riddock Blakeney, and Ewan Bickford in The Voyager student newspaper at Guilford High School in Rockford.

Students built robots and drones at one camp, produced videos in another, and got a start on some extra preparation for the SAT at a third.

The Engineering Camp, which brought students from several area high schools to Jefferson High School in Rockford Public School District 205, also featured an art camp. “I like the freedom that is involved in art and the amount of paths that you can take,” the report quoted a junior from Guilford High as saying.

But when it comes to 21st-century skills, not much can top the excitement of drones that fly around and flip over themselves.

“We have three larger drones—they’re Mavic drones,” one Jefferson High senior was quoted as saying. “They’re bigger, better. They got better cameras, longer distance, you can connect more stuff to it.”

The camp got some funding from the US Department of Education and has been running for nine years. The summer camp was virtual during the height of the pandemic last summer, but all students and teachers were in person this summer.

“It’s about the same … initially we probably had more interest in it, because I think that people were ready to get out of the house,” the paper quoted Gail Zernia, one of the art teachers, as saying about the in-person setting this summer compared to 2020. “It’s pretty much back on track except for the gear that we have to do and the precautions that we’re taking, which is getting us ready for the school year.”

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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