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Camp puts technology in the hands of children

Staff Photos: Jason Braverman. Joseph White and Cameron Lewis test their robot created from Legos during Tech Camp last week at Georgia Gwinnett College. The camp is designed to expose middle and high school students to science and technology.

Staff Photos: Jason Braverman. Joseph White and Cameron Lewis test their robot created from Legos during Tech Camp last week at Georgia Gwinnett College. The camp is designed to expose middle and high school students to science and technology.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- At first, Hunter Rummins did not want to go to Georgia Gwinnett College's Tech Camp.

"I thought it would be boring," she said.

It didn't take long for the 12-year-old to change her mind. By the end of the week, she had created a computer game and built a robot.

"It actually turned out it was really fun," she said.

Hosted by the School of Science of Technology, GGC Tech Camp is a hand-on, experience-based week of exposure to the computing future. This summer, there were three sessions of the camp: one for middle school girls, one for middle school boys and one for high school students.

GGC Tech Camp was designed to promote creative thinking and problem solving. Participants experienced a five-day schedule full of demonstrations, laboratory exercises, discussion groups and presentations.

"Middle school students (learned) how to make their own movie or game," said Nannette Napier, assistant professor of information technology and a camp co-director. "They (worked) with an exciting program from MIT that may be used to create games, animated stories and interactive art."

Middle school students also built and programmed Lego Mindstorms robots with sounds, motion and sensors.

High school students created a video game with the Freely Available Networked Game engine in JavaWIDE and developed animated stories and virtual worlds in Alice.

"It's really fun work with technology," 12-year-old Bria Haynes said. "It's changing all the time."

Camp courses were taught by GGC faculty and staff. Georgia Gwinnett students provided additional assistance during the camp.