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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“School kids learn to be Digidudes, Techdivas”

Gordon Bates / Arizona Summer Wildcat
Michelle Mah, a junior in finance, helping Toby (right), 11 years old and going into 6th grade, during one of this summers My Dream Business workshops. The objective of the workshop is to educate young children in the steps that are required to start a business and to familiarizes them with the software that they might need in doing so.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Summer Wildcat Michelle Mah, a junior in finance, helping Toby (right), 11 years old and going into 6th grade, during one of this summer’s My Dream Business workshops. The objective of the workshop is to educate young children in the steps that are required to start a business and to familiarizes them with the software that they might need in doing so.

While many college students are clueless when it comes to designing a website, the elementary school children in the Eller College of Management’s Digidudes and Techdivas camp are getting firsthand experience in website development and creating their own business.

A four-week camp, in which approximately 100 children participated, the theme of this year’s camp was “”My Dream Business.”” Last year’s theme was “”My Dream Vacation.””

Each session lasted a week and alternated between third- through fifth-graders and sixth- through eighth-graders.

The camp provides a learning experience for the children who participate in it and teaching opportunities for the Eller students involved.

“”It’s been really helpful, it’s almost like running your own business, which is ironic because of the theme this year,”” said Andrew Horrigan, early outreach program director.

Seven UA interns were in charge of creating lesson plans and teaching for the camp.

“”The interns have worked together really hard,”” Horrigan said.

Melissa Tirendi, a junior majoring in pre-business and Spanish, said she has enjoyed the experience so much that she didn’t notice that she was putting in 40 hours of work a week.

“”It’s just been fun spending time with interns and (there is the) the fact that the kids get to learn all these awesome things that I didn’t know when I was little,”” Tirendi said.

Horrigan said he thinks the biggest thing UA students gain from the program is practical knowledge, something often missed in the classroom.

“”It’s a whole different story when you are in charge of real people,”” he said.

During the camp, the interns showed students how to make flyers, commercials, budgets and use various software and 3-D rendering programs.

“”Overall, this has been the best year,”” Horrigan said of this year’s program.

A new feature this year is a camp blog. The blog allows parents to be able to comment and stay up to date on their child’s camp experience.

“”The big thing this year is website development,”” Horrigan said.

In addition to creating their own dream business, students also made their own blog.

For sixth-grader Toby Kochenderfer, the website was his favorite part.

“”I like making the pictures of the store and writing about it on our website’s blog,”” Kochenderfer said.

Kochenderfer said his parents were pleased with what he is learning in camp.

“”I don’t think they know much about this stuff so they think it’s cool,”” Kochenderfer said.

Fifth-grader John Dunn also said creating a website was his favorite part. He said he thought camp was fun but also hard.

At the end of each camp session, there is an open house where the children present what they have created to their parents.

“”When the parents show up, it’s really cool to see the looks on their faces when they see their kid’s website,”” Horrigan said.

Horrigan said the program is looking to expand and branch out more next year. Some possibilities are to make the camp a club, which would allow students to get a head start on planning.

Horrigan said they are also considering actually going to the schools.

“”It’s a program that we can actually mold to our own wishes and see where we want it to head in the future,”” Horrigan said.

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