March 21, 2012
This past summer, I had the chance to attend iD Tech Camp held at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The camp offers many different types of courses, including ones in 3D game modeling, web design, and app development, and each week campers can choose a different specialty camp to attend.
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I took part in two one-week courses. The first week, I studied C++ programming, and the second week I studied iPhone app building. Up until this point, I never had the chance to do any computer programming, and was excited to learn C++ because it is used in many different computer programs. I was afraid at first that learning to program would be very tough, but the counselors helped to make it easy and fun. If you didn’t know how to do something, then they took the time to explain it, and taught you without being judgmental. I made a version of the game Hangman using C++ programming. Looking back on it now, I realize that learning C++ helped me develop my logic skills.
During the week of iPhone app building, I programmed an app that would allow someone to enter a type of food into their phone, and find out how many calories were in it. The programming was slightly different from the first week. I believe that both programming courses helped me organize my thinking.
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I think many people view tech camps as a group of kids being alone in front of computer screens all day by themselves, but I found that to be false. We spent time in groups working on our projects and the counselors did a really good job of keeping the day very social. There was a lot of joking around and laughing during the week.
As technology becomes more prevalent in our society, it’s more important to learn how it works and how to create new programs. At tech camp, I learned to be more comfortable in programming and learned to work with others to solve problems. When I, or another camper, would encounter a problem with our program, the counselor would bring it up and we would all discuss what was happening and suggest ways to solve the problem. This way, we were not just working on our programs but helping others to solve their issues.
The skills I learned at iD Tech camp have already helped me in school this year. I learned to work in groups to collectively solve problems. I feel that the patience and logical thinking required to create a computer program has helped me to better focus and organize my schoolwork.