Community Connection: the EPICness of Digital Discovery Camp
DNS Team Blog
With the conclusion of our third March Break Digital Discovery Camp last week and as we begin preparations for the 2016 summer camps this week, we (the DNS team) are struck by a statement made by a local principal who had informed us that her school’s secretary volunteered to take one of our campers across the ferry each morning last week so he could attend our camp: “sometimes it takes a community.” She’s right. Digital Discovery Camp’s success stems from a collaborative approach to community-based learning.
Tremendous care goes into the curriculum for each aspect of our camp, which began as a pilot project between Digital Nova Scotia and the Discovery Centre during March Break in 2014 and has since become a flagship program for both organizations. Volunteers from industry literally spend hours developing sessions in their area of expertise and work closely with the Discovery Centre to ensure it’s hands-on and fun, making for a memorable experience for our campers. This year’s March Break camp included sessions led by Ubisoft, Brilliant Labs, Eyeread Inc., Volta Labs, Downtown Digital, NSCC, and of course, REDspace (our EPIC Gigabyte Sponsor).
Our aim with the camp has always been to showcase the breadth of our region’s digital technologies sector and develop/foster the next generation of Nova Scotia’s ICT workforce. Since the camp’s inception we’ve been unanimous in our vision for what we wanted it to be. It all comes down to one word: epic. It’s a word that has thankfully been used pretty frequently to describe our camp (by both us and our campers). The word “epic” even brands the title of our highest sponsorship level: our EPIC Gigabyte Sponsor. It is a word synonymous with the remarkable, the awesome, the heroic, the impressive, and the amazing…it is the result we strive for with each program we lead.
We believe that it is the collective and collaborative nature of our Digital Discovery Camp that makes it an epic win. Everyone involved in the camp is part of an ecosystem, where they each play an important role. In its third year, the ecosystem that is Digital Discovery Camp has officially come full circle: Yann Guerin, a participant from our first camp in 2014 decided to spend his March Break as a volunteer camp counselor this year. Yann was only 12 when he first attended and is now a pro at the age of 14. Our camp is where Yann first discovered his passion for computer programming, leading him to learn many different languages…his favourites to date: HTML/CSS and Python. While he’s still deciding whether he’ll go into astroparticle physics or computer science, he knows how important tech education is to youth in our region: “technology is around all of us. We encounter it everyday from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. Technology is the key to innovation and progress, we use it to solve some of the biggest problems in the world.”
What will Nova Scotia look like in 10-15 years if we continue to work collaboratively and encourage youth to learn more about Nova Scotia’s fastest growing sector? More youth like Yann, perhaps? More companies who invest in their talent (both current and future) and their community? Yup, that sounds pretty epic.
Interested in learning more about Digital Discovery Camp? Check it out here.
Digital Discovery Camp is a flagship program for youth ages 9-14 led by both the Discovery Centre and Digital Nova Scotia. With local industry participation and support, this camp is building Nova Scotia’s next generation of technology leaders. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind digital experience for youth to learn more about the cool technology developed right here in Nova Scotia, as well as the unique career opportunities that exist in Nova Scotia’s fastest growing sector!