For Kerman Middle School student Diana Velázquez, coding was something that never crossed her mind that she could be good at doing.
But thanks to the Migrant Education SPACE Camp taking place for the first time this summer at Fresno State’s Education Center, Velázquez learned that coding was not only something she really enjoy doing but it was also a fun learning experience.
“I think coding is really fun,” said the 12-year-old Velázquez, adding that before attending the camp she didn’t know what coding was and now is one of her favorite subjects. “I like it.”
Like Velázquez, Bryan Valadez said coming to the SPACE Camp showed him something new he had never considered doing in his life – becoming a pilot.
Valadez, a 13-year-old middle school student in Kerman, said at first learning to fly in the camp’s flight simulator was very challenging for a first-timer.
However, his teacher at camp told Valadez he was one of the best in the class.
“Never thought to be a pilot, but now it is something I would like to do,” Valadez said.
The two-week SPACE Camp, which took place June 19-30, had room for 60 migrant students in seventh- through 12th-grade students from six rural school districts in Fresno County: Caruthers, Central, Firebaugh-Las Deltas, Kerman, Mendota, and Selma.
Evaristo Treviño, program manager at the Fresno County Office of Education, said the SPACE camp was divided into three groups – two middle schools groups and one high school group.
They discovered skills they didn’t know they have.
Evaristo Treviño, program manager at the FCOE
“Students don’t get the opportunity to do this in regular school,” Treviño said. “This is hands on.”
One of the middle school groups was the ‘Technolochicas’ which included 15 female students learning how to code.
Treviño said there is a big push to get Latinas into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related careers.
And one of the goals of the Technolochicas group was to expose Latina students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics during the SPACE lab, he said.
While the second middle school group focused on the flight simulator and drone challenge, the high school group worked on building underwater remotely operated vehicles, or UROVs.
“They discovered skills they didn’t know they have,” Treviño said of students being exposed to new things at the camp.
The SPACE camp is one of many the Fresno Office of Education offers during the summer for migrant students.
María G. Ortiz-Briones: 559-441-6782