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SMCC Technology Summer Camp Receives Nearly $100k in Renewed Funding

The Ultimate Technology Summer Camp at South Mountain Community College (SMCC) has received nearly $100k in renewed grant funding from the Gila River Indian Community and the City of Phoenix, which will allow the popular program to continue its run for another three summers, through 2021. The college will receive a little more than $31k each year for the next three years.

“This is an amazing opportunity for young women and minority students to get first-hand experience into fields where they are traditionally underrepresented,” said SMCC Residential Faculty and Business Coordinator Mary Bailey Benson. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue this important program, and grateful to the Gila River Indian Community for their continued support.”

The camp began with initial grant funding in 2016. Each summer, the college hosted two week-long camps and served more than 150 students in total over the past three summers.

Aimed at students in grades 8-10, the camps expose minority and female students to educational opportunities and careers in science, math, engineering and technology (STEM). The goal of the camp is to stimulate interest in STEM and increase the number of minority and female students enrolling in STEM-related courses – in both high school and college.

The program curriculum includes hands-on activities and exercises that allow the students to experience the practical applications of STEM in the workplace, such as computer programming, data analytics, accounting principles, and engineering, in a fun learning environment. The camp also incorporates workshops that provide students with the skills needed to succeed in STEM courses. Also included are skills-based workshops focusing on the fundamentals of app development, an introduction to computer programming with Raspberry Pis, and the importance of critical thinking and math skills applied through MS Excel and accounting principles.

Campers have also taken part in design challenges at the Arizona Science Center’s CREATE maker’s space on the final day of the camp.

For more information about enrolling in the camp email Maria Bailey Benson at