FSU iCamp Goes Virtual for Third Year

iCamp Zoom Screenshot

Attending summer camp is something students look forward to throughout the entire school year, but just as the pandemic has impacted lives across the globe, it has impacted summer camps in the United States. Usually held on campus for five weeks, Florida State University’s iCamp is no exception. With a commitment to delivering a fun learning experience for 24 local high schoolers, iCamp administrators shifted the camp’s programming to be completely virtual for its third year.

FSU iCamp is hosted by the College of Communication and Information (CCI), in collaboration with the Technology Student Association (TSA) and the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). AEOP’s Unite program is a nationwide summer program committed to supporting students in their pursuit of college-level studies and careers related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This program caters to brilliant high school students from groups historically underserved in STEM

Ebe Randeree Headshot

For the past two years, the camp offered individualized instruction covering a range of topics, hands-on experiences and activities on FSU’s campus, as well as off-site visits to learn how STEM applies to a wide variety of careers. Hosted entirely online, this year presents the drawback of the students not being physically on campus for instruction. “The idea of being on campus in a classroom helps familiarize high school students with a college campus,” said iCamp co-director Ebe Randeree, CCI Associate Dean (pictured right). “It puts the idea of college within reach: they sit in class, work in a lab, visit the Career Center, eat at the cafeteria, and walk around campus to visit other departments. This makes a huge impact on 9th and 10th grade students as they consider their future options.”

Caroline Kornegay HeadshotBy continuing the routine of meeting every day and covering the same number of topics as past years, iCamp co-directors are committed to providing students with the same caliber of programming remotely. “We haven’t cut back any expectations for what we’re doing,” Randeree said. Topics covered this year include Web Development, Digital Media and Videography, Medical and Health Information Technology, Robotics, and Mobile Apps. To assist in learning, campers have been provided with material packets to follow along with weekly curriculum and at-home robotics kits so they can still get a hands-on experience. “My favorite part has been making fun projects every week,” said Caroline Kornegay (pictured left), a first-time iCamp student.Khylle Valle Headshot

Khylle Valle (pictured right) is a returning iCamp student. “We’ve learned so much, as we usually do, and it’s turned out amazing for my now even wider and vast skill set,” he said. “It is one miraculous experience.”

FayeJonesHeadshot“The virtual environment is completely different, but we’re finding lots of success in it as well,” iCamp co-director Dr. Faye Jones (pictured left) said.

Kurtese Battle HeadshotA unique addition to iCamp this year is afternoon tutoring sessions hosted by college ambassadors from CCI’s undergraduate Information Technology program. Kurtese Battle (pictured right), a returning iCamp student, said, “I do love that we have a help session right after. I’ve had one-on-one time with one of the ambassadors who helped me with things that I had problems with and explain them in a way that I could understand.” These tutoring sessions serve to solidify students’ knowledge in what was taught that day or to make up for any disconnect taking place within the virtual environment. “Tutoring is a way for us to provide individualized instruction even though we’re not in person,” Jones said.

Of the 24 Leon County high school students attending iCamp this year, 18 have attended a previous year and 12 are in their third year. “They were already connecting to each other and talking on day one,” Randeree said.

Ja'kya Lloyd Headshot“I feel blessed to be a part of an amazing program with amazing people,” said Ja’kya Lloyd (pictured left), a three-time iCamp student. “I’m happy we got to have an iCamp this year.”

Learn more about FSU iCamp here.



AEOP (PRNewsFoto/The Army Educational Outreach P) Technology Student Association logo