TCC STEM Camp helps kids think like innovators at no cost to parents

Johnathan Lelanne, 10, said the Tallahassee Community College STEM Summer Camp is showing him new possibilities for his future.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Around 150 kids are getting a chance to expand their horizons at Tallahassee Community College this summer.

TCC is hosting a summer camp for the next generation of entrepreneurs in science, technology, engineering and math.

Students in the camp are from Leon, Gadsden and Wakulla counties.

The camp targets underrepresented kids in the Big Bend community, who may not get as much exposure to STEM fields.

WCTV reporter Staci Inez spoke with a 10-year-old who’s in the program. He said this camp is already making him a better person.

“I feel very grateful and happy that I get to experience all the things that are happening here,” Jonathan Lelanne said.

Lelanne also said the TCC STEM Summer Camp is showing him new possibilities for his future.

“I can do many things like I could be a doctor, I could be an engineer, but I really want to be a scientist,” he said.

TCC STEM Director Renee Gordon said it is more important than ever for students of all backgrounds to have technology skills at an early age.

“Students in underrepresented demographics, so that’s you know our African-American, Hispanic students, they’re able to say ‘Hey I never thought before, but now I’m thinking I can be a computer programmer! I can work with artificial intelligence, I can do machine learning,” she said.

Students at the camp are introduced to computer coding, 3-D printing technology and how to think like an innovator.

The program is designed to give kids a new opportunity, so the camp comes at no cost to parents.

“We really want it to be as easy as possible on the families so that they can send their students to this program and just focus on learning,” Gordon said.

Lelanne said he now feels like he has the skills and experience to get into Yale or Stanford one day, but he’s still deciding between the two schools.

The STEM camp lasts another three weeks, and TCC plans to have another event in the fall for kids to continue learning about the field.

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