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Qualcomm Offers Summer Tech Camps To Vista Unified Students

By   /  March 14, 2016  /  No Comments



Ray Huard ….stemFifth graders who will be entering sixth grade in the fall in Vista Unified School District have a chance to go to very different summer camps where they can build robots and just tinker with technology.

Called Qcamp in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), the summer sessions are run by Qualcomm with a goal of stimulating middle schoolers’ interest in STEM careers.

“They get the opportunity to be creative,” said Kellie Fleming, a content resource teacher who is working with Qualcomm in organizing the summer camp program.

“This is done through hands-on projects, specifically, engineering projects,” Fleming said.

The students will work side-by-side with professional engineers, who will offer advice, but leave it to the students to decide what projects to work on.

“They provide the kids materials and instruction to basically, design and build and code their own robotic creations,” Fleming said. “They build it and then they get to code it so the robot could do something. It might be that it moves a couple of steps or its eyes blink when someone comes up to it.”

Qualcomm career coaches also will talk to the students about what careers STEM studies can lead to and what those careers require.

The camps will run in two separate sessions, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Qualcomm headquarters in Sorrento Valley.

Qcamp for Girls in STEM is slated for July 11-22. Qcamp for Kids, which is for a mixed group of boys and girls, is scheduled for Aug. 8-12.


Qualcomm started the summer camps two years ago with a group of 30 girls from San Diego Unified School District who would be entering sixth grade that fall, said Ed Hidalgo, Qualcomm senior director of staffing.

The camps targeted girls because, historically, far fewer girls have gone into STEM careers than boys, Hidalgo said.

“These are girls that came in thinking engineering wasn’t for them,” Hidalgo said. “They thought engineering and math was for boys. Now, they’re seeing this is pretty cool, (saying) ‘I’m good at this.’”

The initial group of girls returned to Qcamp last summer and will come back again this summer, Hidalgo said.

Their progress is being followed to determine if exposing girls in middle school to STEM careers through concentrated activities leads more of them to take STEM courses in high school and college, and go into STEM careers.

“The early research is showing that it very much does have an effect,” Hidalgo said.

Researchers also will track how the program works with the Vista students, Hidalgo said.

This summer, Qualcomm is expanding the camp program to include boys in one of the camps to see what effect mixing girls and boys together has on the students’ interest in STEM.

The camps are free and bus transportation also will be provided at no cost, Fleming said.

The deadline to apply is March 27. Applications are available at Vista elementary schools and online at http:www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2582659/2016-Qcamp-Application.








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