FSU iCamp to Promote STEM Education

FSU College of Communication and Information (CCI) has successfully teamed up with the US Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) and the National Technology Student Association (TSA) to create FSU iCamp, which will offer 6 weeks of summer technology activities on FSU’s campus. FSU iCamp offers a pre-collegiate summer experience for talented high school students from groups historically underrepresented and underserved in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Hosted at higher education institutions across the country, AEOP’s Unite program encourages students to pursue college majors and careers in engineering and other STEM-related fields through a program of focused hands-on rigorous academics, enrichment, and career exploration. FSU iCamp will target rising 9th through 12th grade students from local Leon and Gadsden County high schools. Student applications for 2018 summer programs will be accepted until April 15.  The camp will be capped at 40 students that will learn web design, digital media production, game design, coding with Python, animation/videography and security/networking.

The 2018 AEOP award to FSU is $32,557 with a possibility for renewal in 2019.

Faye Jones, a faculty researcher at CCI, stated, “FSU iCamp provides us with an invaluable opportunity to work with underrepresented students in our area who are passionate about technology, and who seek to explore computing and technology careers.”  Faye is passionate about building bridges at CCI for students, particularly underrepresented minorities and women, to thrive academically and professionally.

According to Ebe Randeree, Associate Dean at the college, “CCI has been working with K-12 in Leon County for many years providing tours, workshops, coding and gaming design classes, etc.  This partnership with AEOP and the Technology Student Association (TSA) helps us continue to provide more opportunities for local students.”  Randeree has served on the Florida TSA board for eight years working with middle and high school STEM students in the state.  Florida TSA has over 50,000 members and the state ranks in the top 3 every year when they compete in nationals.

Besides educating students in tech-related skills, having them in a higher-education setting is very beneficial.  As part of the camp, students will visit STEM programs in FSU’s Department of Physics, the Mag Lab, Seminole Productions, and tour the new Innovation Hub.  Students will receive weekly mentoring from FSU Army ROTC and Veteran’s Center, while advising will be conducted by the FSU Career Center and SSS-STEM program.  Campers will benefit from daily interaction with FSU students majoring in STEM fields, while participating in fun, hands-on activities taught by a dedicated instructional team.

CCI Dean Larry Dennis said, “FSU iCamp will get students engaged in STEM fields at an early age. The exposure to a variety of topics throughout the duration of the camp will provide students the opportunity to learn about a variety of career paths students may pursue after graduating high school.”