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Young women from Johnson, Floyd and Pike counties are gathering at BSCTC’s Prestonsburg campus for Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Camp from June 10-28 for a three-week, intensive summer camp focused on cutting edge technology education featuring augmented reality, low-latency robotics, 3D-printing and entrepreneurship skills.

The Prestonsburg campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College is hosting a three-week free summer camp focused on STEM skills and career learning for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students throughout the area called Verizon Innovative Learning.

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The camp is focused on STEM field curriculum, including lessons in augmented reality, low-latency robotics, collaborative experiences and more to help prepare students for the quickly evolving digital world of our future, according to a statement from Verizon.

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“Being able to interact with transformative technologies like these will further prepare our students for tomorrow’s digital world,” the statement said.

Traci Fields-Tackett, who is overseeing the camp taking place this year in Prestonsburg said the camp also includes field trips for students.

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“Not only do they learn about AR/VR, 3D-printing, coding and circuits, design thinking and entrepreneurship, but we take some amazing field trips,” said Fields-Tackett, who shared photos of students at the University of Pikeville’s nursing school.

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Verizon Wireless sponsors these camps, which, in our area, welcome students from Johnson, Pike and Floyd counties and even transports students to the camp and home for the day, from four pickup locations in the three counties served.

“Millions of under-resourced American students lack the technology and skills required for success in tomorrow’s digital economy,” said a statement from Verizon. “Helping these kids bridge the digital divide and gain the ability to use technology in economically advantageous ways has become increasingly important for our future and our country as a whole … Our program provides free technology, free internet access and a next-gen, technology-infused curriculum that changes the way teachers teach and students learn.”

Since 2012, Verizon has been working hand-in-hand with nonprofit partners, the statement said, a team of educators and technology experts to build and administer the program.

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“In support of underrepresented populations in STEM fields, we work with middle-school aged rural young women on college campuses across the country to teach next-gen technology skills and entrepreneurship,” the statement said. “Each student is offered an immersive STEM experience during our 3-week summer camp and paired with a mentor for the duration of camp and into the next academic year.”

The camp is free and students who attend 80 percent or more of the camp receive a Verizon Ellipsis 10 tablet and will also take part in monthly sessions throughout the upcoming academic school year where they will “develop a technology solution for a community problem that aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” according to the statement.

The camp runs from June 10-28 and will also feature an expo at which students will present their projects for the public.

For more information, follow Big Sandy Community and Technical College on Facebook or call the school by phone at, (606) 886-3863.

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