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Montgomery Can Code Camp Introduces Nearly 1,000 Students to Future Tech Careers
Public Private Partnership Provides Free Coding Camp for Local Middle Schoolers with Student App Showcase August 26
Montgomery College, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) are collaborating with Apple for the third year in a row to offer middle school students a unique educational summer camp experience, Montgomery Can Code. The free camp is being offered virtually this year to more than 975 registered students, tripling the first year’s total camp size.
During the five weeklong camps taking place July 12–August 13, students are learning the skills they need to pursue careers in the app economy by working in Swift, Apple’s open-source, easy-to-understand programming language. Students will envision how they can solve real world problems that effect Montgomery County and beyond using coding skills they learn at camp. Through camp, they will also learn essential skills such as creativity, collaboration and problem solving, while also building project management and presentation skills, as they have the opportunity to pitch their app solutions in a Student App Showcase event on August 26, the culmination of this summer’s camp experience.
The sessions are taught through Montgomery College’s Information Technology Institute by instructors trained in Swift. Students receive a loaner iPad and a Montgomery Can Code T-shirt at the start of each session. At the week’s end, participants will receive a certificate of completion.
During the camp, students learn to code using the Everyone Can Code curriculum and use the Swift Playgrounds app on iPad, which allows students to learn key programming concepts by solving puzzles. Swift Playgrounds requires no coding knowledge, so it’s perfect for students just starting out.
To inspire students, MCEDC has arranged for local businesses to virtually pitch a problem for the students to solve, and they will participate in non-profit challenges. Participating companies include BlackRock Arts Center, BrightFocus, Sun Creative Services and Lion Solutions. In addition, MoCoHacks, a high school coding challenge group, will provide an inspirational video for the middle school students.
The Montgomery Can Code partnership promotes education and the development of the talent pipeline necessary to sustain Montgomery County’s technology competitiveness. Local companies continue to search for highly skilled workers in fields like cybersecurity, app development, gaming, life sciences, and hospitality technology. Early exposure to develop these skills provides students with a future advantage in being hired, and brings academia and the business community together to invest in the county’s future workforce.
“Montgomery Can Code is an example of how government and the private sector can work together to create valuable learning opportunities for our future workforce,” said County Councilmember Craig Rice, Chair of the Education Committee. “Technical proficiency is not an optional skillset anymore. Through Montgomery Can Code, students will start their journey to being fully qualified for the job opportunities of tomorrow. I am so proud of the efforts by all our partners to build and grow this program in Montgomery County. It now serves as a model for other jurisdictions across the country.”
“We were excited that our successful outreach efforts attracted nearly 1,000 camp participants from across our county middle schools to participate in the Montgomery Can Code camp,” said Dr. Monifa McKnight, Interim Superintendent of Schools. “We are committed to providing our students with engaging and innovative opportunities that build their skills and prepares them for the jobs of the future.”
“We envision many of these young people will one day enroll in college technology programs. Coding is a valuable skill set for our young people to bring to college and the workforce; it’s a high-demand career path,” said Dr. Sanjay Rai, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Montgomery College. “We are glad to welcome these young learners to Montgomery College—they’re not only our future IT professionals but also our future entrepreneurs who will start companies here in the County and generate jobs.”
“Montgomery County’s ability to be economically competitive requires a continued investment in our STEM education. This camp does so much more than just introduce coding technology to our next generation workforce. It also helps to promote teamwork, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. These are the skillsets that businesses are seeking,” said Benjamin H. Wu, President and CEO of MCEDC.
Learn more at Montgomery Can Code.
About Montgomery College
Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.
The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) is the official public-private economic development organization representing Montgomery County, Maryland. Created in 2016, MCEDC is led by a Board of Directors of business executives. Its mission is to help businesses start, grow and relocate in Montgomery County by helping them gain access to top talent, business and market intelligence and prime locations. For more information, visit our website. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
About Montgomery County Public Schools
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is the largest school system in Maryland with 162,680 students. A diverse school system with students coming from 157 countries and speaking 150 languages, it consists of 134 elementary schools, 40 middle schools and 25 high schools in the system. MCPS is an award-winning system recognized with 39 National Blue Ribbon and 8 National Green Ribbon schools.