For forty-eight of New Zealand’s high school aged computer enthusiasts, getting the most out of their summer holiday took on a whole new meaning earlier this year. While many other kids their age were at home spending their holiday time playing games on their phones and computers, these kids were at a three-day code camp learning how to create their own games.
Code Avenger’s first ever code camp was held on Jan 21st -23rd 2013, in and around the Computer Science Department of The University of Waikato situated in Hamilton, New Zealand and was designed primarily for high students aged between 12-15, though any age could benefit from attending such a camp.
For three days, students learned the basics of computer programming and web design in a fun and interactive way using the latest technology (CodeAvengers Learning Platform). They not only learnt the beginnings of creating their own web and mobile apps and games but enjoyed lots of group coding and team challenges which resulted in new friendships with other like-minded kids.
Having a keen interest in such things as animation, games and design made the camp a perfect learning experience for many of the students. However, whether a code beginner, intermediate or more experienced, the camp was valuable for all those involved. Better still, code camp gave students a head start on the 2013 digital technologies courses at school.
Some of the other camp activities included, swimming, orienteering, outdoor team challenges, designing virtual cars on the computer and then assembling a model car in the engineering lab and racing them, listening to guest speakers from the I.T. Industry and lots of tasty food.
When students were asked by one of the guest speakers to raise their hands if they were enjoying the camp thus far, many raised both arms in the air. “Overall we feel like everyone enjoyed themselves and gained something from the three days.” - Creator of Code Avengers (Michael Walmsley)
Check out some of the feedback below“On behalf of my son, Cameron, may I say a huge thank you to the whole Walmsley family and helpers for an amazing event. Cameron thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I’m not sure if all the parents realised the real effort that went into this event – but I certainly do, so thank you all, and please let us know if there are any follow-up events or if there is any other way we can help.” -parent (Spencer Scoular)
“Code Camp was definitely awesome!! I would definitely attend it again” –student (Jacob Cundy)
“Overall, we thought it was really good and Isla really enjoyed it. It is a great initiative for which there is a huge need. As discussed with you we find it nearly impossible to employ Software Developers, particularly New Zealand born and trained. So any initiatives that encourage children still at school into pursuing an I.T. career is invaluable to the industry.” –parent (Heather Neil, REDCRATER software Solutions Ltd)
“Had an amazing time, enjoyed the company of people who were interested in the same thing, and the tutors were fantastic and very helpful” –student (Bene Herilhy)
“Thank you for running this camp for the kids. I have never seen Michael as animated about learning as he has been over the past three days. I only hope he doesn’t get bored with school this year. Both Rose and Michael enjoyed their time at Code Avengers Camp, hopefully you run another one next holidays” –parent (Karen Leathem)
"It was perfectly organised” –parent (Robyn Fulton)
“Thanks to Code Camp I now know that I would like to pursue a career in I.T. Hearing all the guest speakers and working through codeavengers.com has opened my eyes and inspired me” - student (Harmin Transfield)
“What I learnt from this code camp is I do not want a job in computers…it’s just not my thing, but I had a lot of fun here at code camp!” –student (H. Hemi)
“It was good to see Robert get so involved with everything and interact with the other kids. He really enjoyed the experience and using codeavengers.com which has given him a good grasp on the computer programming. Thanks Code Avengers!” – Robert’s Teacher Aide
Future Code Camps
For those who missed out on our last camp, who would like to find out if they might be interested in a future in the I.T. industry, a second CodeAvengers Code Camp is scheduled for Monday 22nd- Wednesday 24th April, 2013, at The University of Waikato.
To register visit codeavengers.com/codecamp now!
It is hoped that with the support of sponsors more Code Camps will be run in other cities across New Zealand and eventually the whole world, so that hundreds can benefit from this amazing experience. If you would like to help setup or sponsor a CodeCamp in your city send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally a big thanks to our major sponsors The University of Waikato who provided the facilities and the NZ IITP who paid for the t-shirts. And also to our minor sponsors Google and Orion Health for their support.