Metro Action Commission Summer Technology Camp
For the fourth summer this year, the NTC is partnering with the Metro Action Commission to offer an advanced technology camp to teens ages 13 to 15 who are older siblings of members of the Metro Action Commission’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The camp consists of 25 campers from impoverished backgrounds who were selected for free membership in the eight week program. It is designed to expose students to careers in technology and opportunities provided by such by immersing students in interactive activities and field trips that stimulate analytical thinking, creativity, teamwork, and a love for technology. Recently, I traveled with campers to the Escape Game Nashville, where I watched them harness these skills and more in a fast-paced and fun environment.
Lessons from the Escape Room
At the Escape Room, campers broke into three teams of eight, each of which was assigned to a separate room from which they had one hour to figure out how to escape. I tagged along with one team in the “Nashville” room, a room complete with guitars, amplifiers, records, and other staple Nashville items. Once inside, we were encouraged to be risk takers, problem solvers, and explorers, before being left on our own to find our way out of the room. I was amazed as the campers worked together quickly and efficiently to find clue after clue around the room. Meanwhile, I worked with them to search for clues but hardly found any myself. I was reminded that kids often seem to possess an innate creativity that is lost in adulthood, and it was this creativity that ultimately unlocked the campers from the room. They found clues in places that would never have crossed my mind to look, and they strung clues together for analysis in ways that would have taken me much longer to discover. All in all, the game was exciting and fun. Even more exciting and more fun, however, was seeing how clever these young teenagers are. I am glad to know that they will be immersed in similar experiences this summer that will likewise encourage creativity, teamwork, problem-solving, and wit, and I look forward to seeing a number of them undertake technology-related professions in their future.
Stay tuned to hear about the Artiphon Rock Band Summer Camp, where middle and high school students explored the intersection between technology and music. Know of a tech-related event or usergroup meetup I should check out, tweet @nashtechcouncil and let me know!