Computer science summer camp can give your child or teenager a real competitive advantage in college. In fact, think about a time when students once wrote papers with pen and paper, then along came the typewriter where they would peck away on the keys. Fast forward to our world today, where we rely on computers almost exclusively to help us execute various projects and processes.
Perhaps, unlike ever before, it is critical for elementary, middle and high school students to acquire new computer science skills. As we all know, a specific skill today may be obsolete tomorrow, so this is why it is so important to train the brain to adapt through skill acquisition. For this reason, private schools and colleges place a heavy emphasis on critical thinking, as well as analytical and creative approaches to problem-solving, rather than rote memorization or learning mechanics.
To do well in a college or university, students need to know how to pursue an idea or interest, conduct research online, and organize their thoughts. They also need to know how to use various computer systems, including Microsoft and Apple, understand Google docs, and know how to organize their projects on platforms like Trello.
Given the emphasis on collaborative work in the field of computer science, summer camps can also help students improve social skills. If the summer camp is located on a boarding school campus, this is a real bonus because dorm life experiences require social interactions and teamwork.
Not all Summer Computer Science Camps are Created Equal
Summer is a time when teens have a chance to develop into thinkers and leaders, and acquire both a mindset and new skill sets. However, keep in mind that not all computer science camps for middle and high school students are created equal. In fact, they can be quite different, so finding the right one is essential to really gain competitive advantages to prepare for college. The best computer science camps tend to offer a good balance between mental, physical, and social activities.
For example, at a private boarding school in California for grades 7-12, they set up an academic program to help students prepare for college, career, and life. In addition to the academic year school, they created Academy by the Sea to offer dynamic summer camp options. Summer learning on this campus allows campers to acquire practical life skills in leadership and teambuilding, alongside their choice of a summer learning track.
In the computer science track, they introduce the use of Virtual Machines to run Windows 10 and Linux. This camp program reinforces the scientific process and promotes the appropriate use of technology. It also covers the concepts of personal responsibility for data, online behavior and digital leadership. Campers become familiar with the digital defense of operating systems and take responsibility for their data.
As campers explore topics within cyber security and computer science, they are also directly or indirectly applying some math, science, and statistical concepts. These reinforce core academic subjects by putting these concepts into a new context. This helps prepare them for the upcoming academic year in middle or high school, but also lays the groundwork for core subjects like math, as well as school electives.
In articles about education, a Forbes author once stated “you will never forget anything you learn in mathematics; it won’t be incorrect in ten years or a hundred.” Once again, learning how to apply mathematical and scientific concepts, within the context of computer science, really makes these core academic subjects come alive.”
In fact, computer science degree programs typically teach students to build a toolkit based on: discrete math, real analysis, manifold theory (involves geometry), topology, statistics and probability, abstract algebra, linear algebra, computation and complexity theory, and number theory.
Without this kind of knowledge and preparation, even strong students may face tough challenges in college as they navigate databases, algorithms, and data structures.
Computer Science Summer Camps Help Teens Learn Soft Skills
If you want your teen to follow a passion like computer science, make sure the computer science camp includes other soft skills such as: self-discipline, resilience, responsibility, independence, and confidence. Learning how to lead, work in teams and develop positive relationships, as well as how to resolve conflict will be essential in college.
Remember, summer time is supposed to be fun, so seek out a computer camp that offers excursions and trips to get outside the classroom. Some computer science camps offer educational trips, but they also might be located in cities or small towns where students can go off campus. This cultivates decision-making, independence, and other soft skills.
Of course, parents should always ensure the camp follows health and safety protocols, so your child eats well, gets plenty of sleep, and has strong mentorship and supervision. Going to camp also teaches teens how to be protective of their own health, safety, and well-being.
When looking for a summer camp, consider one situated on a boarding school campus, because these private schools tend to be similar to a college campus. Private boarding schools generally offer campers a rich balance between summer learning classes, physical exercise, and social exchanges. These are all essential to prepare for the college and life.
As we all know, it is really not enough just to acquire new computer skills. The future needs young people today to know how to set goals, organize, manage their time effectively, and solve highly complex problems.
A computer science summer camp will not only accelerate learning new skills, but will give your child or teen a toolkit that will serve them in college and throughout their lives. The competitive advantages, not only reinforce academic subjects, but lead to the acquisition of life skills and a growth mindset.
For further information on Academy by the Sea Camps, feel free to contact us. 760.547.5288
Address: 2605 Carlsbad Boulevard, Carlsbad, CA 92008