Last Updated: Mar 28th, 2013 - 15:54:01
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Metro State hosts camps on leadership, technology for kids

CIS Chair Abel Moreno says this week’s camp for elementary school children bridged the “digital divide.”
Giselle is building a high-tech robot this week. That’s no big deal—until you consider she’s an 11-year-old fourth grader at University Park Elementary School in Denver.

“I’m learning a lot about technology and how it can help people,” she says.

Giselle is one of 70 elementary and middle school students taking part in educational camps this summer run by OpenWorld Learning, a nonprofit organization that taps technology and peer instruction to teach children.

This month, Metro State hosts two OpenWorld camps: one the week of June 14 that taught middle school students leadership, conflict resolution, decision making and communication skills. The second camp runs this week and provides elementary students hands-on experience with Microsoft Word, Internet search engines, Lego robotics, computer programming and graphic design.

“We’re very grateful to Metro State for hosting our camps. It’s a great school with a long track record of excellence in education and that fits perfectly with what OpenWorld is all about,” says Tiffany Deines, a development specialist with OpenWorld Learning. “Most of our students have never stepped foot on a college campus."

Deines says the camps’ goals are to “tap into the creative and problem-solving skills of students to enhance their educational skills and expand their personal horizons.”

Chair of Computer Information Systems Abel Moreno, says the camps are “a great opportunity to bridge the digital divide, to give those who have less of a chance to experience technology in a hands-on way. Some of the kids had no concept of a college campus and this will be locked into their memories. I believe we may see them again in the future as our students."

Seventy elementary and middle school students took part in the two OpenWorld Learning camps hosted by Metro State this week and last week.
Antonio, a fifth grader from West Denver Prep, says he’s having a great time at the camp. “It’s been fun doing the activities and learning about technology,” he says.

Another student, Jimmy, a fifth grader at College View Elementary School in Denver, says he learned about how technology has changed from the 1500s to today. “Technology back then was like the printing press and today we have iPads. It’s changed a lot.”

Giselle agreed with Jimmy, then added OpenWorld Learning “is the best thing for kids because you learn not to give up when things get hard and you can express yourself.”

Metro State has been partnering with OpenWorld Learning since 2007. Metro State President Stephen Jordan spoke at the organization's first youth leadership symposium in Denver in April, and faculty from the Departments of Computer Information Systems and Mathematical and Computer Sciences took part in OpenWorld’s tech fair in May.


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