Jun. 23—Middle school students flocked to Gainesville this week from across North Texas to learn more about software and the internet.
North Central Texas College hosted Go for IT!, a free, four-day camp tailored to show students career possibilities in Information Technology, including coding, 3-D printing, cybersecurity, drones and more. The students get access to hardware and software not available at their schools, and learn the hows and whys of their usage.
"I think coding is cool. How, like, you can take lines of just ones and zeros and turn into what Minecraft is. I just, I just find it fascinating and interesting," said Beckett Sorensen, who attends school near Denton. "... I took a coding class when I was in like sixth grade. It wasn't a very good coding class. And then I came here and it kind of blew my mind."
Anthony Burrows came up from Nocona, a return trip for him to the NCTC camp.
"I came last year and I enjoyed it a lot, so I wanted to come back and get even more experience with coding and learning about black hackers and white heck hackers and different stuff," Burrows said. "... At Nocona, we have like robotics and you get to build Legos and code them. We did that last year, so, but that's pretty much it."
Regan Osterman would definitely recommend the camp to his classmates at Valley View Middle School.
"I would say it has stuff that they've probably never seen before, or have been taught about," Osterman said. "So, I would tell them that I had a lot of fun and I think that they would have a lot of fun because they don't get very much access to that at our school and that they should at least give it one year's chance."
The camp is paid for through sponsorships and a state grants, according to Manny Trevino, head of NCTC's IT program.
"Basically what it is, is to pique the interest at the middle school age level in Career Technology and career educational technology, so that as they grow older, they have these seeds planted in them, and they can seek some of the programs that we have that we teach here in North Central Texas College having to do with industrial technology and information technology," said Trevino.
"By the time they start getting into high school, from what we understand they start making decisions as to what field they are going to go and receive education in, and so by planting the seeds early enough, we hope that they would, we would hope that they would consider one of these technologies for their future careers," Trevino added.
To learn more about Go for IT!, visit nctc.edu.
Staff writer Anna Beall contributed to this report.