PLATTSBURGH — A teen summer camp aims to feed the STEM-field demand.

The two-week AT&T & North Country STEM Network Tech Camp, free to 30 area high-school students, will focus on project-based learning in the science, technology, engineering and math sectors.

This is an initiative to encourage students to enter into the tech industry — one that’s in alarming need of trained workforce, an AT&T press release says.

“It is estimated for every two available STEM jobs, there is only one qualified professional available to fill it,” the release continues.

“The STEM program will provide 30 students from local high schools, grades 9 to 12, across the North Country an opportunity to gain valuable STEM skills and hands-on experiences, while encouraging them to follow a tech career path.”

North Country STEM Network, Clarkson University, Coryer Staffing Inc. and AT&T are the Tech Camp sponsors and AT&T made a $24,000 contribution.

CAMP SPONSORS

Founded in 2012, the North Country STEM Network was led at Clarkson University.

According to the release, the organization “fosters collaboration and innovation among all community resources to empower diverse learners with 21st Century Skills for educational and career success.

“It is the catalyst to energize and focus community resources to design, develop, implement and demonstrate innovative, sustainable, and transferable STEM learning experiences for economic vitality and exceptional quality of life.”

And AT&T is involved via their AT&T Aspire program — a $450 million philanthropic initiative.

AT&T New York President Amy Kramer said she’s proud to collaborate with the camp’s other sponsors.

“Our economy continues to transform at a robust pace – requiring a workforce with a focus on technological education and literacy – and STEM and computer science programs like the AT&T & North County STEM Network Tech Camp are vital to ensure that students are equipped to compete in the global innovation economy of tomorrow,” she says in the release.

CODING SKILLS

At the AT&T & North Country STEM Network Tech Camp, students will work with computer coding basics, engineering design, robotics and production management.

“Additional segments will focus on career exploration and will feature industry and college tours, guest speakers from various tech industries and professional portfolio development,” the release says.

“Camp participants will develop collaboration and problem-solving skills and enhanced communication and personal skills,” it continues. “Emphasis will be placed on how technology and computer science can be used for good to create solutions to address issues impacting youth in our region, such as cyberbullying and a good digital citizenship.”

Students will have the opportunity to learn about/how to build robotics, the release says, as well as work on team-based coding projects that are “designed to make a difference in their schools and their community.

“The students will be mentored by local tech professionals and educators to identify and design coding solutions, learn coding computer programming language, create mobile apps, digital storyboards, animated movies, learning games and basic websites, while going on field trips to see technology at work in the community and at colleges.”

NO ECONOMIC BARRIERS

The Tech Camp will be held weekdays between Monday, July 29 and Friday, August 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Beekmantown High School.

To eliminate economic barriers, the program is free and lunch is provided, the release says.

“All technologies, including a computer, will be provided for the duration of the program. No previous tech education or experience is required, but all applicants will need to complete an application on why they want to take part.”

Applications are due by Friday, July 12 and can be accessed at www.northcountrystem.org or www.clarkson.edu.

ESSENTIAL OPPORTUNITY

Clarkson University Educational Partnerships Director Mary Margaret Small said today’s rapidly changing global society promises expeditious advances in technology and unknown challenges to students.

“We need to equip them with the critical thinking and technology competencies to meet these challenges with innovative solutions developed through collaboration and electronic communications,” Small said in the release.

“Opportunities, such as this camp, are essential to preparing students for their futures and assuring a strong local and national economy.

“We are very grateful to AT&T for providing our North Country students with this opportunity.”

Email McKenzie Delisle:

mdelisle@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @McKenzieDelisle