University Offers Summer Camps Designed to Lift Youth Skills, Spirits

UT Dallas Summer Camp

Campers filled a weather balloon with helium during the Introduction to Space Camp last summer.

UT Dallas offers summer camps for everyone from aspiring athletes to budding rocket scientists.

The campus hosts dozens of athletic, academic and other fun camps for children and teens. They include coding for kindergarteners, a new robotics camp for girls and chess camp taught by the director of the elite UT Dallas Chess Team.

Camps run from June through August. Registration deadlines and costs vary. See the UT Dallas summer camps website for details.

In addition to athletic and academic camps, UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders offers several communication camps, including the Crystal Charity Ball Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camp.

The interactive coding camps aim to make learning science, technology, engineering and math fun, said Dr. Jey Veerasamy, senior lecturer in computer science and director of computer science outreach. The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science offers more than 100 camp sessions.

“We want to make sure it’s an enjoyable experience,” Veerasamy said. “It’s hands-on, and they can see their math concepts and creativity come to life.”

Coding camps offer a 50 percent discount to low-income families, 40 percent discount to UT Dallas families and 10 percent discount to alumni.

UT Dallas Summer Camps

Campers honed their basketball skills at UT Dallas’ Comet Shooting Camp last summer.

Computer science camps have expanded to include off-campus locations throughout North Texas and also in Austin, Houston and New Mexico.

The Science and Engineering Education Center (SEEC) coordinates capstone engineering camps including the Solar Car Camp, in which teens build a solar-powered vehicle capable of completing a 100-mile road trip. Teens who attend the two-week Space Launch will build, design and fly a weather balloon to 90,000 feet, and then attempt to retrieve it using GPS coordinates.

About twice as many capstone engineering camps also will be offered this year, thanks to scholarships offered through the Texas Workforce Commission to students in the Dallas, DeSoto and Lancaster independent school districts. The districts will provide transportation to the camps, said Dr. Kenneth Berry, assistant director of SEEC.

The Texas Workforce Commission awarded $89,500 to UT Dallas to provide 125 scholarships for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) camps. The grant was among 13 distributed to Texas universities and community colleges for summer youth camps designed to help prepare youths for high-skill, high-demand jobs.

UT Dallas Summer Chess Camp

Summer chess camp participants learn from top-ranked players, including students from the University’s chess team.

“We want to do relevant things with them such as creating robots and creating quad copters,” Berry said. “That’s what we would like our students to come away with: That STEM subjects are just as much fun and just as relevant to their lives as athletics, band and other performing arts classes.”

UT Dallas Athletics also offers summer camps in basketball, baseball, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

The University will have two volleyball camps: one for beginner to intermediate levels and a residential camp for advanced players. Enrollment has grown for the elite camp, whose participants will stay in Residence Hall West for the first time. Attendees will eat in Dining Hall West and play in Recreation Center West, said Marci Sanders, head volleyball coach.

UT Dallas volleyball players teach the all-skills camp, she said.

“The all-skills camp is more of teaching the fundamentals of the game, establishing a love of the game,” Sanders said. “The elite camp offers advanced techniques, and is more of a competitive environment for those who want to proceed to the next level.”

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].