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Teens invited to explore coding at summer camp

This July, Camp OC is inviting teens in Grades 9 through 12 to explore coding at Tech Gateway, a two-week summer camp hosted at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus that will give students a glimpse into College life and careers in the technology sector. 

“Coding education is already being integrated into school curriculums in B.C. and likely that trend will continue to grow,” explains Cindy Meissner, Camp OC Coordinator for Vernon. “This camp offers a fun way for students to understand what coding is all about, as well as explore future careers as coders, web designers, and app developers.”

Canada needs 10 million skilled coders in the next 10 years according to the 2016 ICTC Digital Talent Strategy Report. In addition to learning the skills to prepare for careers in coding, students will also benefit from entrepreneurship workshops with industry guest speakers who will talk about the potential for self-employment.

sarah foss coding camp picSarah Foss is a recent Okanagan College graduate and will be on the of instructors of the camp. Foss graduated with a diploma in Computer Information Systems in early June, earning a President’s Award for having the highest graduating average of a student completing a full-time diploma program.

“The program at the College showed me all of the possibilities for jobs working with computers and coding, and how accessible technology has become,” says Foss. “Once you have the education, the concepts become easier to understand. I’m excited to show the students that you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or a master programmer to code. And it’s really cool.”

Foss will be back in the classroom at the Kelowna campus this fall to complete her Bachelor of Computer Information Systems degree. She plans to pursue a Master of Computer Science degree after that, and describes coding as “one of the few things that lets you create something from nothing – it’s words that become a website, or an app or just about anything.”

“Programmers are needed not just in the Okanagan but across the province and beyond,” explains Dr. Youry Khmelevsky, Chair of the Computer Science program at Okanagan College. “Opportunities like this are a great way for students to try out coding early on, whether they have previous experience or are starting from scratch.”

Tech Gateway takes place in Vernon, from July 17 to 28, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. More information about Camp OC is available at