G33K Camp Happening July 20th to 26th
Next week, July 20 through 25th to be precise, something excellent is happening within UAT’s campus. During this week we will be hosting 10-12 summer computer campers who are clients of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC). Here is the background - many individuals who exist somewhere on the autism spectrum love and are great with computers. The puzzle solving, patterning and ability to work deeply within ones own mind that comes with computer science and technology often nicely complements traits associated with being somewhere along autism’s spectrum. The rub though is that the shifting environment, social dynamics and wide range of stimula associated with attending college makes earning a degree in technology areas very hard for individuals navigating autism.
Here is how UAT and SARRC are partnering to help make this (and perhaps our community) a bit better. For one week UAT’s campus will host SARRC learners for our second annual Geek Camp experience. During this time SARRC clients will apply for college, live in Founders, attend classes, navigate having room mates and schedules, peer through telescopes (monsoons permitting), create completed games and films. And for each day of these experiences SARRC counselors will be nearby to support, debrief and help the learners as they navigate this immersive simulated college experience. The hope is that after attending the UAT camp, these students will be better prepared to attempt and succeed in college and then go on to become technologists. At a larger scale the data gathered over the years from the UAT Geek Camp is being collected and shared with other autism research centers across the country so they can learn and build from the work started here in Tempe.
Next week as we share UAT’s campus community with guests finding their technology path, I think we will see that we share a love of technology and the uniquely geek cultural cues that seem to come with our passions.
This is a summer event for all of us to be excited about each year.
Dr. Bolman, Provost