U Minnesota Hosts High-Tech Camp for Disadvantaged Kids

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Graduate students from the University of Minnesota's computer science and engineering departments hosted middle school students last week. The five-day high-tech camp attracted 30 students from Minneapolis and St. Paul who created 3D movies, programmed robotic dogs, and digitally altered the sound of their own voices.

The Technology Day Camp, now in its third year, was created promote interest in the sciences on the part of kids who typically don't get high-level technology experiences, especially girls and students of color, camp sponsors said. At the camp, students work in the university's Institute of Technology labs on interactive projects they can then take home.

The camp is free to the middle-school students. The $300 cost for each student is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Center for Distributed Robotics and the university's Digital Technology Center.

"We help kids see that you don't have to be born knowing you want to be a computer scientist to be one," said Kelly Cannon, a computer science and engineering doctoral student who started the camp in 2005.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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