Tech Summer Camps Offer Learning, Fun

Courtesy photo Digital photography is just one of the skills kids can learn at the Camp Edmo and Edtech summer camps coming to Bay Farm Elementary.

For Alameda youngsters just itching to get their hands on new technology, the Camp Edmo and Camp EdTech weekly summer camps will return to Alameda this summer at Bay Farm Elementary School. The camps will celebrate eight years on the Island presenting cutting-edge programming.

Camp Edmo is designed for children in grades pre-K through fourth grade, and Camp EdTech caters to young people in grades five through eight.

"Instead of playing video games, kids can learn to build video games at the camps," said Executive Director Ed Caballero. The camps, which have been honored by Bay Area Parent as one of the best day camps in the Bay Area, teach, from scratch, the building blocks of code in ways that many don’t learn until college, if at all.

In addition to coding, kids can build robots and make their own movies, including stop-motion animation. This requires them to learn set construction, character development, writing and storyboarding, and filming technology — all before even shooting the film.

The camps are run by Edventure More!, a nonprofit that strives to share new technologies with kids, help them learn about themselves, and, according to Caballero, empower them to "be their most awesome selves" in the process.

To make sure the camps are successful, Edventure More! partners with the California Academy of Sciences and other experts to provide technically sound, yet fun, hands-on activities throughout the summer. They also offer extended care, and fees on a sliding scale, so no one is turned away unless they reach capacity.

When not running the camps, Edventure More! maintains its presence in Alameda with in-class programs for teachers during the school year. In recent years the organization has facilitated programs at Otis, Bay Farm, Franklin, Lum and Amelia Earhart elementary schools, and summer camp fees help support this programming.

The summer camps appear to be the main event, though. When asked about the coolest part of the camps, Caballero had so much to choose from, he realized that he hadn’t even mentioned rockets or ‘copters yet, which most folks are drawn to.

If these camps sound like a good choice for your child, enrollment is now open at camp
edmo.org and campedtech.org.

Chris Ringewald is an Alameda Sun intern. He can be reached at editor@alamedasun.com.