CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (March 1, 2017)—Kirkwood Community College has expanded efforts for growing the talent pipeline in Iowa’s Creative Corridor to include area youth, ages 8 – 15. Enrollment spikes in Kirkwood’s Interactive Camps for Kids (KICK) prompted course expansion in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to prepare for future workforce needs.
According to labor market data for Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn and Washington counties, careers requiring STEM education in 2016 account for nearly 16,000 jobs. By 2025 this number is projected to increase by 5.6 percent. Since its inception in 2007, KICK has focused on introducing area children to STEM careers.
“KICK is a fun, hands-on learning opportunity for kids that reinforces subjects learned throughout the school year,” said Vice President of Continuing Education & Training Services Kim Becicka. “Courses are designed to build communication, problem-solving and creative thinking skills, all of which are critical for the next generation of innovators.”
Due to the popularity of the KICK program, Kirkwood now offers 200 camps with nearly 100 new STEM programs in Cedar Rapids and Coralville. Camp opportunities include coding, game design, Minecraft animation and welding, as well as learning about careers in veterinary science, space exploration, culinary design, engineering or architecture.
Evone Vognsen, director of Continuing Education Programs touted, “Campers benefit from the innovative learning spaces here at Kirkwood. Use of programmable robots, simulators and even a life-size planetarium promote exploration. It’s just such an awesome opportunity for kids to see, touch and feel a college campus.”
KICK camps run June through August and space is limited. Enrollments are accepted up to one week prior to starting. The college offers tuition assistance to qualified students. For a complete camp listing or to register, call 398-1022 or visit www.kirkwood.edu/kick.