Flint, MI—The College of Innovation and Technology (CIT) at the University of Michigan-Flint is hosting a free technology camp for high school students on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
The camp is part of CIT Technology Saturdays, a monthly event series designed to highlight majors offered through the college. This Saturday’s theme will be centered around computer science for ninth through twelfth grade students.
Jeffrey Yackley, assistant professor of information technology at CIT, said he hopes that students will gain a better understanding of computer science and potential career paths in the field through fun learning opportunities.
“It’s gonna be a really great, laid back experience for students that is very low pressure,” said Yackley, who will be instructing the event’s participants. “[It’s] just designed to really help spark a hopeful future interest for them.”
Yackley said students will learn about CIT’s programs during the first segment of the camp. Then, participants will have the chance to program a Minesweeper game and build their knowledge about the basics of computer science, among other activities.
It’ll be Yackley’s first time teaching at CIT’s Technology Saturdays, and he looks forward to working with younger students, just as he had previously done as a graduate student instructor at UM-Dearborn.
“It’s always fun to be able to deal with students that are just seeing something like this for the first time,” Yackley said. “Because teaching logic, which is at the heart of computer science, is always a new way of thinking.”
For faculty members like Yackley, Technology Saturdays also serve as a chance to pass on their knowledge, he noted.
“A lot of faculty like to participate in this because you get to, of course, really share your passion with the students,” he said. “I was just really honored that, as this is my first year at U of M-Flint, they let me be part of this awesome program.”
Technology Saturdays occur on the second Saturday of each month and began last fall, according to CIT’s Dean Christopher Pearson.
Pearson explained that the camps aim to provide learning experiences in areas of technology throughout the year, extending opportunities available at CIT’s summer camps for young students.
“We just want to show them … what are all their possibilities that might be open to them as they think about going to college or beyond high school,” he said.
Looking ahead, Pearson said the focus of the college’s April and May camps will center around manufacturing and software engineering, respectively. Separate technology camps will be available for middle and high school students in mid-to-late June, and CIT then plans to restart Technology Saturdays come September.