Introducing Skilled Trades to the Next Generation: Community Colleges Host Kid Camps Across Arkansas

 
Arkansas State University Mid South Mechatronic Career Camp participants engage in hands-on activities to learn basic electricity and pneumatic skills that are used in numerous manufacturing processes.

Arkansas State University Mid South Mechatronic Career Camp participants engage in hands-on activities to learn basic electricity and pneumatic skills that are used in numerous manufacturing processes.

 

Seventeen Arkansas community colleges host summer day camps for community youth through June and August 2019. These events are some of the most popular events on campus and can include field trips, meals, workshops, games, and more.

Mostly free of charge, these camps focus on future career paths in manufacturing, industrial technology, computer science and design, robotics, welding, healthcare, diesel technology, hospitality, and mechatronics, as well as general science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. These career focuses are industries projected to experience the most growth in Arkansas over the next decade. Colleges are investing in local youth to allow for more skilled workers to fill these jobs in the future.

Northwest Arkansas Community College Kids College participants can learn Website Development in a three day course for youth ages 9-16.

Northwest Arkansas Community College Kids College participants can learn Website Development in a three day course for youth ages 9-16.

South Arkansas Community College Girls Learning about Math and Science (GLAMS) participating in a chemistry experiment.

South Arkansas Community College Girls Learning about Math and Science (GLAMS) participating in a chemistry experiment.

HANDS ON EXPERIENCES

University of Arkansas Community College Batesville Inside Engineering Camp participants weld on welding simulators.

University of Arkansas Community College Batesville Inside Engineering Camp participants weld on welding simulators.

Community college summer programs are hands-on, meaning that youth complete projects and participate in workshops teaching them important industry skills.

Arkansas State University Beebe offers the Vanguard Discovery Camp at all three of its campuses for students in fourth through eighth grade. Activities include Crime Lab, Black Rocket: Bricks & Sticks Stop Animation, Lego Robotics , Black Rocket: Roblox Makers, Young Engineers Robotics, eSports Apprentice, YouTube Streamers & Gamers, Drone Technology, Black Rocket: Virtual Reality, 3D Printing Makers Lab, Advanced Drone Technology, Advance Robotics, and Black Rocket Battle Royale: Make Your Own Video Game.

Arkansas State University Mid South Mechatronic Career Camp participants engage in hands-on activities to learn basic electricity and pneumatic skills that are used in numerous manufacturing processes.

Arkansas State University Mid South Mechatronic Career Camp participants engage in hands-on activities to learn basic electricity and pneumatic skills that are used in numerous manufacturing processes.

University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton offers a wide variety of skilled trades experiences at the college’s Career Tech Academy. During this four-day event, students gain experience and valuable skills and knowledge as they shape their understanding of various career fields. Programs may include Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology, Automotive Service Technology, Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology, Computer Information Systems, and other skilled careers.

Some colleges, like Ozarka College, offer programming with only one focus. Ozarka’s Ethical Hacker High School is a two-day workshop providing cybersecurity awareness for teens.  Students learn how to protect their computer and themselves from hackers.

At the University of Arkansas Hope - Texarkana’s Camp Save-a-Life seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students are introduced to medical skills through the study of x-rays, use of a pulse oximeters to measure oxygen saturation, administering simulated IVs, CPR certification, practicing first aid basics, operating a Doppler to hear the sounds of the heart and lungs, exploring animal organs, and learning about medical careers from medical professionals in the field.

The University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech features their award-winning culinary training programs through Youth Chefs Culinary Camp. The camp is made up of three different levels of difficulty in Baking, Cakes, and Culinary skills. Students receive their own chef aprons and take command of the kitchen.

Black River Technical College offers Droneblocks Coding Camp for students going into fourth and fifth grades. Student learn to program flight missions for drones and learn real-world applications of drone technology. 

INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS

Arkansas Northeastern College STEM Camp for Girls participants learning to take vitals in a nursing simulation lab.

Arkansas Northeastern College STEM Camp for Girls participants learning to take vitals in a nursing simulation lab.

Colleges aren’t the only community leaders investing in local youth. Local business and industry often partner to provide summer youth programing through college summer camps.

Arkansas Northeastern College and industry partners Nucor, Tenaris, American Greetings, Hampton Museum of Archeology, Whitton Farms & Arkansas Discovery Museum provide hands-on activities for seventh, eighth, and ninth grade girls, including Team Building, Electrical, Power Tool Safety, Mousetrap Race Cars, Nursing, Phlebotomy, Pharmacy, EMT, Paramedics, Archeology, Robotics, Supply Chain Management, Material Science, Coding, and Psychology.

South Arkansas Community College hosts the Verizon Innovative Learning Camp, in partnership with Verizon, for middle-school girls. This camp is centered on next-generation computer technology skills including three-dimensional printing and augmented reality.

University of Arkansas Hope - Texarkana’s Engineering & Manufacturing Camp of Creativity (EMC²) introduces youth ages 15 to 17 to the local engineering and manufacturing industry through industry tours and visiting with industry leaders about job opportunities, benefits, salaries, and job skills.

CAMPS FOR GIRLS

Several community colleges offer camp programs to promote women’s contributions to STEM fields in an effort to decrease the gender gap.

South Arkansas Community College hosts two camps, one for eight grade girls and one for middle school girls. The Verizon Innovative Learning Camp, hosted July 15 to August 2, is a camp for for middle-school girls centered on next-generation computer technology skills including three-dimensional printing and augmented reality.

 
South Arkansas Community College Girls Learning about Math and Science (GLAMS) program introduces female students to successful area women working math, science and technology-related fields and provide real-life examples of achievement is those careers. Participants enjoy hands-on workshops and breakout sessions in science, technology, engineering and math fields that are designed provide participants with fun ways to learn practical information.

South Arkansas Community College Girls Learning about Math and Science (GLAMS) program introduces female students to successful area women working math, science and technology-related fields and provide real-life examples of achievement is those careers. Participants enjoy hands-on workshops and breakout sessions in science, technology, engineering and math fields that are designed provide participants with fun ways to learn practical information.

 

Both National Park College and the University of Arkansas Community College Batesville offer Soaring High in Engineering camps for girls. National Park’s theme is, “Plight of the Bumblebees: Engineering Solutions to Pollinator Extinction.” Participants will have the opportunity to design, build, and test ideas for artificial pollinators, gardening strategies, bee-safe pesticides, and more. This camp includes a field trip to Garvan Woodland Gardens for participants to learn the importance of pollinators in our ecosystems.

COLLEGES OFFERING SUMMER PROGRAMS FOR YOUTH

Please visit the following Arkansas community college websites for more information on program dates, registration, and activities.

Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville
Arkansas State University Beebe, Heber Springs, Searcy, and Beebe
Arkansas State University Mid South, West Memphis        
Arkansas State University Newport, Jonesboro and Newport
Black River Technical College, Paragould and Pocahontas
College of the Ouachitas, Malvern
East Arkansas Community College, Forrest City
National Park College, Hot Springs  
North Arkansas College, Harrison    
Northwest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville
Ozarka College, Ash Flat
South Arkansas Community College, El Dorado
Southern Arkansas University Tech, Camden
University of Arkansas Community College Batesville, Batesville
University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton, Morrilton
University of Arkansas Hope - Texarkana, Hope and Texarkana
University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech, Little Rock and North Little Rock