One camp. 4 days. 20+ sessions. 80+ students. 60+ volunteers. Infinite impact.

Inspiring high school students to explore technology

Tech Camp 2021 took place Tuesday July 20 through Friday July 23, 2021 at the historic Franklin Junior High in Des Moines. 

  • 86 central Iowa students in grades 8 through 12 attended, representing a more diverse distribution than that of Iowa students participating in AP Computer Science exams;
  • 20 half-day or full-day technology learning sessions were offered across tracks of software development, hardware and physical computing and web development and media;
  • 3 keynote presentations, inspiration stations and other group activities enabled encouragement and interest in technology and careers;
  • 69 local volunteer technology professionals served as keynote speakers, session facilitators, student mentors or in other capacities;
  • 34 Chromebook devices and peripheral equipment was provided to students for continued development of skills and ongoing enrichment after camp; and
  • $14,000 in scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors who participated in Tech Camp for three or more years during their high school career.

Additional details about Tech Camp 2021 can be found at techjourney.org/techcamp2021/.

Tech Camp is an immersive annual summer camp experience for central Iowa students in grades 8 through 12. A cohort of 8th or 9th grade students are invited with consideration given to socioeconomic status, gender and ethnicity. The new cohort, as well as the previous four cohorts, are invited each year to attend the one-week summer camp.

Each year at Tech Camp students attend inspirational keynote sessions, technology learning sessions and other activities including a closing ceremony and reception where they can demonstrate projects they worked on. Technology learning sessions are grouped into three tracks: software development, hardware and physical computing and web development and media. Example technologies and topics presented include, but are not limited to, Agile, Arduino, cloud computing, cybersecurity, game development, HTML/CSS/JS, machine learning and Python.

  • We provide knowledge and tools

    Students connect with professionals

    All sessions are delivered by local technology professionals serving as volunteer facilitators and mentors. Students not only learn from the professionals, but they get to talk with them about education, careers, jobs, skills and the like.

    Students have the tools

    Students have a computer to use at Tech Camp and receive a Tech Journey domain account to use across multiple applications. Students receive tech items, swag, plenty of snacks and daily meals.

  • We open closed doors

    Serving the underrepresented in tech

    Our target demographic for Tech Camp is underserved and underrepresented in tech. For Tech Camp 2020, 55% of students attending were female and the ethnic breakdown was Asian 26%, Black/African American 14%, Hispanic/Latinx 21% and the balance being White/Caucasian or other.

  • We commit to a journey

    Tech Camp lasts four to five years

    Once a student attends Tech Camp for the first time as an 8th or 9th grader, he/she is invited back each remaining year of high school to continue exploring tech. for Tech Camp 2020, 83% of the students attending agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “After Tech Camp, I am still interested in learning about technology.”