Participants became programmers and learned to turn their ideas into reality.
“What we’ve been working with is 3D printing pens. We have been working with software so they can make their decals and learn about design,” said Clicbitz 3D printing specialist Jonah Hoppenheim.
The Clicbitz technology summer camp — which has been touring across the country — hopes to teach the skills of the future.
Abilities like coding and 3D printing could one day offer new solutions to complex problems.
The ability to create custom-design synthetic heart valves or prosthetics begins here, Hoppenheim says.
As one young programmer discovered, it could also help with gardening and baking.
“I designed this flower, a tree, a ballerina, a donut. The donut was really fun to make,” added camp participant Kylie Shepherd.
For another, it was about construction.
Arden Hurley says his interest was sparked when he built a model of his very own house.
“We got lego and then built a house. Then you’d go on an app and make the house out of 3D blocks,” explained 10-year-old Hurley.
WATCH (Aug. 11, 2019): ‘Unstoppable Kid’ from Saskatchewan First Nation throws first pitch at Blue Jays game
Learning and perfecting these new skills involves a lot of screen time, but Clicbitz founder Tracey Herriot says the innovation requires collaboration.
“I think we give them a lot of different skills that are not necessarily taught in the classroom,” said Herriot. “We’ve also created a tool for the children to interact digitally with each other without using social media.”
“Technology is the future,” she added.
Herriot says she hopes to expand Clicbitz into afterschool programs across the country.
Two young designers, at least, want to build on what they learned, and were thrilled with what they created.
“I really enjoy it,” said Hurley.
“I had so much fun,” added Sheperd. “I’m going to come here again next year.”