Two KICK Camp participants look over their work
Early introduction an approach to meeting workforce demands
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (February 29, 2016)—Kirkwood’s Interactive Camps for Kids (KICK) is expanding offerings in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to children ages 9 – 15 this summer in an effort to meet future workforce demands.
According to the U.S. Commerce Department, STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent by 2024. These are critical fields that drive our region’s innovation and competitiveness. Companies operating at the forefront of technological innovation are concerned about the future labor market.
“Across the country, especially regionally, more and more effort is being made to spark interest in students of all ages in STEM occupations,” said Vice President of Continuing Education & Training Services Kim Becicka. “Our camps allow kids to explore different STEM career fields and enrich subjects learned throughout the school year.”
For 50 years the college has been working with area employers and workforce organizations, creating training programs to meet workforce needs. The KICK focus on STEM camps has been a strategy since the program’s inception to help meet the demands of the future.
KICK has been educating area children since 2007. This summer there are more than 190 camps to choose from with nearly 50 new STEM programs in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. STEM camps include code writing, game design, high school math preparation, Minecraft animation, and learning history through American Girl. The camps allow for hands-on learning in Kirkwood classrooms and labs equipped with advanced technologies like diagnostics, software, simulators, robotics and welders. This fosters learning, collaboration, problem solving and exploration.
“We are seeing an upswing in early registration, especially for computer coding and design camps,” said KICK Director Kristin Hanneman. “These camps fill up quickly.”
Camp space is limited. Enrollments are accepted up to one week prior to starting. The college offers camp scholarships for those who qualify. For a complete camp listing visit www.kirkwood.edu/kick.