Breadcrumb Navigation

students at Camp Innovation
Posted in , on June 13, 2024

Students learn coding to fly drones

This week, student coders and pilots took flight at the seventh and largest Arlington ISD Camp Innovation yet. students at Camp Innovation

Hosted by the district’s technology integration and innovation department at the Arlington ISD Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center, the four-day camp offers fourth through 10th-grade students a unique opportunity to dive into the world of computer science. 

And fly drones. 

Each week for three weeks, the camp hosted over 275 students, totaling over 800 – a jump of more than 150 from 2023.  

“These kids are having equitable experiences,” said technology integration specialist Susan Anderson. “We have students represented from every single campus across our district this summer.” 

Campgoers’ pre-camp experience with coding ranges from some to none. But by the end of the week, they all have a lot. From programming drones, Sphero’s, RVR’s and Dash robots, opportunities for engagement and learning are endless.  students at Camp Innovation

“It’s all so interesting,” said ninth grader Broden Clark-Davis. “I’ve really been wanting to learn about Python, and this is helping me get that introduction.” 

To measure the camp’s impact, a pre-test and post-test were introduced this year, tracking each participant’s growth. 

“In our first week, these kids showed substantial growth between day one and day four,” Anderson said. “Both of our secondary group’s scores were up over 120%.” 

Thanks to the help of Arlington ISD teachers, librarians and instructional coaches, each student rotates among three different activities per age group. 

This year, activities ranged from choreographing robot dances, delivering pizzas with drones, competing in Sphero summer Olympics and more. students at Camp Innovation

“A lot of these teachers even bring back what they learn at Camp Innovation and introduce these activities to the kids in their own classrooms,” Anderson said.   

For many students, Camp Innovation is a way to continue learning during the summer, a choice they eagerly make. 

“This is my third year at Camp Innovation,” said incoming ninth grader Elliot Bland. “Camp Innovation is so fun. I’ve been here two times before because it’s just so cool.” 

Beyond coding, the camp also fosters friendship and community. 

“My favorite part has been the friends I’ve met and seeing other people that I already know,” Bland said. 

Eighth grader Brent Richardson felt the same way. students at Camp Innovation

“My favorite part has been meeting new friends like Elliot,” he said.  

That’s been the goal since the camp started in 2015.  

“It’s so special, and it’s grown so much since then,” Anderson said. “It makes me very happy and very proud.” 

Thanks to the support from Arlington ISD’s state and federal interventions and operations department, Camp Innovation offers all the fun and learning for free. 

If your student did not get the chance to attend Camp Innovation this year, equipment is always available for check-out through the technology integration and innovation department. 

And, if you’re ready to embark in a series of challenges where STEM meets the real world and express your creativity and imagination, keep an eye out for next summer’s registration window opening in spring 2025.