Looking for free and educational activities to do with your kids this summer? What if you give them the opportunity to learn more about technology and help them advance their digital skills while having fun and interacting with kids their age? All of this is possible this summer during the YouthSpark summer camps available until late August at the Microsoft Stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.
At Microsoft, we recognized that digital skills will be critical to career success in a future driven by technology. However, based on U.S. Census data only 7% of all U.S. tech workers are Latino, and according to Voto Latino, this low number in STEM careers exists not because of a lack of interest in the industry, but a lack of access to tech tools, training, and mentors (and that lack of access starts long before this demographic gets to college.)
Limited access to digital skills threatens to widen the income gap between those who have the skills to succeed in the 21st century and those who do not. To help reduce the gap Microsoft stores is offering free summer camps that provide real-world opportunities, in a fun and interactive environment. Students looking to translate their passions and digital skills into something tangible for their communities and future will be able to take full advantage of this. They don’t have to wait until tomorrow anymore to gain these skills and access training and hands-on experiences. The YouthSpark summer camps, which consist of either one, two or four two-hour sessions, are for all children with a wide range of interests outside computer programming and coding, no matter if they’re starting from scratch, or are somewhat knowledgeable, they are all welcome to have fun at our stores.
To join, register for summer camps today online or in person at your local Microsoft Store. By attending this year, students can take part in the following experiences.
- Code a talking robot with Ohbot. Image having the opportunity to bring a robot to life by coding its movements and speech. Over the course of this camp, students will apply computational thinking to learn how to bring Ohbot, an expressive, programmable robot to life.
- Create a difference in your world. The next generation of philanthropists will learn ways to use technology to do good in their community.
- Make your own movie with 3D and Mixed Reality. Students will learn about several aspects of making movies, including character development, storyboarding, shooting, editing and sharing. They’ll also have access to Microsoft’s latest 3D drawing and movie-making technology with Mixed Reality Viewer and more.
- Minecraft coding: learn computer science with your favorite game. This camp invites kids into an inclusive and immersive project built around creating, exploring and learning code in Minecraft with the help of MakeCode.
- Beginners fun with computers and coding. This workshop is great for students who have had little to no experience with computers and coding. Through fun and simple challenges, students as young as six years old will learn how computers and code work together and showcase their new skills by solving hands-on coding activities.