GCPS Summer Tech Camps Transition to a “Virtual” Model for 2020 as “atHome” Summer Technology Camps
In response to COVID-19, for the summer of 2020, GCPS Summer Tech Camps will transition to a “virtual, in home” model that focuses on fun, engaging and meaningful “hands-on” activities that students can do independently at home led by Garrett County’s Public High School FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 1629, GaCo.
Two one-week sessions will be offered - the week of July 6-10 and, then, again during the week of July 13-17. Both weeks are identical and offered twice for your family’s convenience. Each week will accommodate up to thirty students.
Registration is open for students entering the 3rd through 6th grade this Fall, 2020. Although intended for Garrett County Public School students, as in the past, students not enrolled in Garrett County Public Schools are welcome to participate as well.
During each of the five days of the camp, a “YouTube” playlist along with some written materials will be released by 9:00am. “atHome” Campers then have the rest of the day to watch the videos, read the material and then do the activities. At 6:30pm, each evening, campers will have the opportunity to attend a “virtual campfire” using Google Meet (online video conferencing) for students to share their projects.
“atHome” Camp activities will not be LEGO based and technology is only needed to watch the “YouTube” playlist and participate in the Google Meet - which is not a requirement. All activities will use common household items along with a boxed kit of items that will be delivered to the camper’s home that does not need to be returned.
Depending on grade level and the specific activity, students may need some assistance or guidance in doing each day’s activities, which should take about an hour and a half to two hours to complete.
Some activities are: Making Electric Motors, Using Map and Compass, Making a Block and Tackle, Making Bouncy Balls, Powering an LED Clock with Potatoes, Measuring the “sourness” of Sour Candy using pH - and a whole lot more! Campers can expect about 3 or 4 activities a day, each tied to a specific daily theme such as Electricity and Magnetism, Gravity and Air Pressure, Energy and Motion and even “Survival Skills.” Some may call these unplugged activities “old fashioned” but they are essential for STEM readiness nonetheless.
For over twenty-five years, GCPS Summer Technology Camps have engaged hundreds of students in the engineering design process using LEGO robotics. The program is the precursor and foundation of Garrett County’s FIRST robotics teams. GaCo regrets the decision to transition to the “atHome” model for its camps. As part of Garrett County Public Schools, the team has a responsibility to find new and innovative methods of making a difference to Garrett County students under COVID-19 constraints. The transition to “atHome” camps will help keep our students, staff and buildings safe and virus free for the summer months with hopes of as normal of a reopening as possible for the 2020-21 school year.
Registration opens Friday, May 29th, via Google Forms and will be “first come-first served” based on the time payment is received. Registration will close Friday, June 19. Cost for the camp is $30.00 per camper which helps to cover the cost of materials. A limited number of scholarships are available through GaCo. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
to inquire as well as to get answers to any other questions or concerns. Click here to begin the registration process.