LOWVILLE — For its first summer session, the Lewis County JCC Education Center will be home to tech-focused Kids’ College workshops beginning July 8.
All of the tech workshops are run using the Black Rocket online platform using popular video games as inspiration and encouraging both independent and team work.
Black Rocket is a company founded by a dad with his 9-year-old daughter in 2001, using “cutting-edge, easy-to-use, low-cost technology to foster innate student creativity and spark self empowerment with a ‘make-your-own’ philosophy,” according to the company’s website.
The first workshop at the Education Center will be Minecraft Modders. Kids will learn programming basics like introductory coding, scripting and logic statements, to make their first “mod,” or modification, in a “simulated environment inspired by Minecraft,” according to the workshop description online.
Fortnite is the motivation for the Week 2 workshop that will teach youngsters how to make their own video game using professional 3D game development software.
“No longer just a hobby, eSports is the fastest growing career for the next generation,” the Week 3 workshop description says.
Attendees will learn what it takes to be a competitive gamer, how to produce commentary for live tournaments, use streaming software and practice online safety.
The Week 4 workshop will bring kids into the virtual reality realm where they will learn to make their own virtual reality worlds by exploring simulated environments and crafting 3D experiences. They will end up with their own cardboard VR headset that can be used to view their projects online.
In the final week of Kids’ College at the Education Center, kids will learn to code using Lua, a coding language, in the Roblox universe “where they can create anything they dream of,” the workshop description says.
As young entrepreneurs, the young people will also be taught how to publish the games they create in the Roblox marketplace.
Each workshop at the Education Center will run from Monday to Thursday from either 9 a.m. to noon for children 8 to 10 years old or 1 to 4 p.m. for those 11 to 14 years old. The workshops cost from $150 to $170 for each child.
Kids will be able to access their projects on the Black Rocket website or app after the workshop is over.
JCC’s Watertown campus will host a wider selection of courses including art, dance, musical theatre, photography and chemistry.
The last two weeks of Kids’ College from Aug. 12 to 23 will be held exclusively on the main campus and include workshops involving hydraulics, microscopes or animation.
Also beginning on July 8 is the STEaM Institute focusing on making science, technology, engineering and mathematics programming kids’ style. STEaM Institute courses include environmental science, agricultural engineering, biomedical engineering and civil engineering. Classes cost $225 for each student and are held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Watertown Campus. The classes are geared for first- through fifth-graders in September.
For more information about Kids’ College or to register online, go to https://sunyjefferson.edu/community/youth-programs/steam-institute-kids-college.php.
To register or for questions, contact the Workforce Development and Business Division of JCC by calling 315-786-2233, or by email at email@example.com.