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  • Writer's pictureAdvika Chaudhari


Updated: Sep 2, 2023

As the last weeks of summer nears, I wanted to write about my ongoing experience with my very first run of the JavaBotics Summer Camp.

This was a new experience as I took

on the challenge of hosting my very first summer camp. Fueled by my love for coding and helping others, I set out to introduce students to the captivating world of Java programming. We covered everything from introducing what coding is to some specific niches for FIRST programming - like vision software! The goal of this camp? Empower the campers with skills that go way beyond just the FIRST challenge.

There are a lot of options to self-learn with free courses online. I had to learn through self-learning and spent numerous hours researching on difficult topics which was extremely inefficient. In retrospect, I wished I had someone to teach me these topics in a way where I could freely ask questions, which is what led me to hosting this camp.

Even though my website has a focus on girls, the camp was open to all – boys, girls, and others – because in the tech world, it's extremely important to know how to work alongside different genders, personalities, etc. Furthermore, it's not about who is ahead in the tech industry right now - instead, it's about providing every person with equal opportunity to code, explore, and create together. I was also able to teach some of my fellow FRC team members Java programming to build a strong programming team! Before this camp, I was the only person on the team with previous experience with Java, and it was lonely in our programming sub-team :(

As I reflect back on this camp, I recall all of the unexpectedness that came along with the campers. For example, the Android Studios installation didn't set up perfectly, causing me to have impromptu one-on-one sessions with students while we tried to figure it out together. There were also times where I drew a blank mid-thought when explaining complex concepts. However, the campers showed off their resourcefulness by eagerly looking up the concepts and supplying their much-thankful teacher with the answer. In those seconds, I thought: These students are going to be really great programmers because they've already taken the phrase "Google is your friend" to heart! I've stressed this enough to my learners, but knowing how to look up errors that you come across and syntax for a loop is entirely important. The other skill that is essential to build is the logical mind behind the code.

This camp isn't just about learning- it's also about gathering different experiences, working together, and building a community. I'll continue to check in with my group during the FIRST season- I'm curious to see where these talented programmers will go next!

Want to learn more about this summer camp? Click here!

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