How Summer Camps Can Teach Computational Thinking (& What It Is)
Summer camps bring thoughts of fun activities that provide our kiddos with new experiences while gaining confidence, building friendships, and gaining new skill sets.
As you search for camps, we challenge you to take a look at how Summer camps can enhance important computational thinking skills.
Never heard of computational thinking? No worries, you are not alone.
What is Computational Thinking?
In a nutshell, computational thinking is a higher-level thinking process where students take a problem and break it down into smaller pieces, then bring it all together again to develop a solution. It’s the type of thinking that anyone can benefit from, regardless of age and interest. Being able to decipher and formulate innovative solutions goes well beyond just learning and retaining information.
With computational thinking, students become active problem-solvers whose thinking envelopes creativity, collaboration, and communication. Check out the below video:
According to K-12 Computer Science Foundation, their approach to computational thinking begins with early learners through high school, “Beginning in the earliest grades and continuing through 12th grade, students will develop a foundation of computer science knowledge and learn new approaches to problem solving that harness the power of computational thinking to become both users and creators of computing technology. By applying computer science as a tool for learning and expression in a variety of disciplines and interests, students will actively participate in a world that is increasingly influenced by technology.” Carnegie Melon’s Center for Computational Thinking believes, “the impact of computing extends far beyond science, however, affecting all aspects of our lives. To flourish in today’s world, everyone needs computational thinking.”
So, How Does This Factor into Summer Camps?
Camps today are very versatile- there is just about any type of camp your child could think of; from traditional camps to tech camps and all those in between.
Recent research by an organization called The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (comprised of businesses, education leaders, policymakers, and founded by NEA) has found that “there is a large gap between the knowledge students learn in school and the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century.
After extensive research, the organization determined that some of the skills necessary to become successful adults are communication, collaboration, creativity, leadership, socialization, and problem solving. All of these areas are fostered in the camp environment.” Based on research, summer camps are a unique venue for growth that afford our kids the opportunity to develop social skills along with self-confidence and teamwork.
Factor in computational thinking and we have a combination that provides our kids with a greater sense of independence and confidence.
Why Computational Thinking is Important
Based on the research, children are better set up for success when they have computational thinking skills. With our ever-changing environment and work force, having a wide variety of skills continues to increase in importance.
By allowing your children the opportunity to practice this skill, you give them more versatility once they get older. No matter what they want to do in life, they will be well-equipped.
Exploring these skills also allows children to branch out into different areas of learning. Every child’s skill set is different, so allowing them to explore a new area gives them the opportunity to find success in a new avenue.
And remember parents, computation thinking goes well beyond coding or computer science. Computational thinking benefits all subjects such as math, social sciences, music, art, and more. It helps kids to navigate through complex problems giving them the ability to decompose a challenge into smaller components that are more easily handled.
Where Can Children Learn Computational Thinking Skills?
At Code Ninjas, we offer summer camps that includes creative technology build-time, engaging STEM activities, and fun games that promote teamwork and collaboration. Let’s break down what our summer camps offer and how that ties into computational thinking.
First, we focus on taking your child from being a passive tech consumer to becoming a tech creator! From sitting on the couch playing video games to using their imagination by learning to code and creating their own games. Our expert staff will engage your child with fun activities throughout their time in our vibrant learning spaces where we encourage kids to explore technology. It’s truly a unique opportunity for kids to have fun without even realizing how much they are benefiting from creating algorithms and sequences as they learn to code.
Whether it’s Minecraft Modding, learning the Lua language in Roblox, experiencing coding and running drones or robots for the first time, your child will be immersed in technology that has become part of our everyday lives. Coding is a natural expression of computational thinking which helps to increase:
- Creative Thinking
- Logical Reasoning
- Pattern Recognition
- Problem Solving in a systematic way
So bottom line, we understand that computation thinking comes in to play with the future success of innovative problem-solving, and that there are many benefits exclusive to the summer camp experience. The two go hand-in-hand to further help our children to grow and develop on a personal and academic level.
Explore the exciting Code Ninjas summer camps (virtual & in-center options), sign-up your child, and allow them to experience an encouraging environment that promotes computational thinking. Your child will thrive as they explore technology in a way that they know as fun and creative! No experience necessary.
From our family to yours, Code Ninjas