Oswego to host first-ever Technology Camp

The first-ever SUNY Oswego Technology Camp, Aug. 9 to 13, will aim to help fifth through eighth-grade students plug into problem-solving exercises while learning about advanced technology.

Sponsored by the SUNY Oswego department of technology, the camp will offer daily sessions on topics including robotics, digital imaging, flight and computer-aided design.

The camp will be very hands-on with “make-and-take” projects, said coordinator Judith Belt of Oswego’s department of technology. “One great thing is that students will be able to walk away with something they constructed and with a feeling of accomplishment,” Belt said.

Professors from Oswego’s technology department will lead the sessions in Park and Wilber halls on campus. “Robotics: Machines in Action,” taught by Mark Hardy from 9 a.m. to noon, will allow students to build robots and learn about how robots see and work. Another 9 a.m. to noon daily session, “Digital Imaging: Camera to Computer” under Tim Patterson, will show youngsters how to take, edit and alter digital photographs.

“Flight: Da Vinci to NASA,” led by Dan Tryon from 1 to 4 p.m. daily, will teach children how to build kites, small planes or solid-fuel rockets. Another 1 to 4 p.m. session, “CAD for Kids: Puzzlemania” taught by Donna Matteson, will let youngsters design and create two- and three-dimensional puzzles.

Costs for each five-day session is $175, except for the robotics class, which costs $185. There is a $50 discount for anyone enrolled in more than one session, or for two or more siblings attending.

There are multiple goals behind starting this program at Oswego. “One is to introduce as many children as possible to technology to make them more technologically literate,” Belt noted. “The second is that we want to introduce both genders to technology. From some reason, many girls feel that technology is not for them. So we’re trying to show this is not the case and to create some diversity.”

The sessions reflect the changing face of technology programs and how Oswego fits into that trend. “Technology education has come from industrial arts and project building to problem solving,” Belt said. “We’re hoping to enhance the problem-solving emphasis.”

The initial effort is a kind of pilot program, she added, with an interest in expanding the camp next year if this year goes well. Future plans could include holding concurrent sessions for interested teachers to enhance technological classroom initiatives. Organizers picked up the idea from a successful camp at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, with the director of that program being helpful and open to assist Oswego with starting this program, Belt said.

Since the first edition is only a week long, with 15 hours per session, there is no residential component and organizers expect most attendees will probably live within driving distance.

More information and a registration form are available at http://www.oswegotechnologycamp.com

(Posted: Jun 30, 2004)