Online 'summer camp' introduces career options in coding for K-12

MILWAUKEE -- For most kids, school is almost out for summer, but with the coronavirus outbreak causing an abrupt end to in-person learning, some families are looking for ways to keep their kids' minds engaged with meaningful and productive activities.

"We have received lots of inquiries from those who have been affected," said Shaun McAlmont,  president of Career Learning Solutions at K-12, Inc. "Families who never really considered a virtual education are now calling because this situation is so extreme."

McAlmont said K-12, Inc., "providing families an online option for a high-quality, personalized education experience" has one of the largest online education programs in the country -- and students from all over Wisconsin can attend Destinations Coding Camp, a free, virtual, summer day camp.

"It gives families an option that is fun, educational and engaging students in what they really like, and it introducing them to careers, so the summer camps are really focused on career-oriented skills, especially in IT," McAlmont said.

Kids will learn not only how to code, but also put together pieces of a video game.

"Over the time they are in the program, they will come out with a greater knowledge of how it works, and introduction to the career," McAlmont said.

With many people still unemployed because of the outbreak, this is a way to help fill a niche -- with reportedly more than 11,500 computing jobs open statewide.

"We really are making sure that we offer opportunities for students to be exposed because we think the job openings already are in high demand, and are numerous, and that will continue, so anything we can do to prepare students today will benefit them later," McAlmont said.

As a bonus, McAlmont said students will also get half a high school credit toward graduation when they complete the camp.

The first session starts on June 15.

Learn more: Destinations Career Academy at iCademy powered by K12