SEATTLE -- Summer camps aren’t just taking place outdoors. Tech camps are growing in popularity especially around the Pacific Northwest.
iD Tech Camp is holding several summer tech camps at the University of Washington.
A huge draw is video games. At iD Tech Camps, kids ages 7-to-17 are learning how to code, program, and develop video games and apps. They also get hands-on training in Photoshop, web design and popular robotics classes.
Camp counselors say there's a huge void to fill to get young people trained in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs. iD Tech Camp points says more than one million jobs in STEM fields are expected to go unfilled by 2020. Yet, 9-out-of-10 high schools don't offer computer science classes.
It's a field where women are noticeably outnumbered by men.
“There are not many girls here, especially not teenage girls. I am the oldest. I’m 17. And there are younger girls, but not quite my age,” said camper Kathryn.
“I’m planning on being a video game designer when I grow up, so I’m thinking it will help my career as a video game designer,” said camper Miranda.
Major tech companies like Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn released their workforce diversity figures this week after much pressure. According to USA TODAY, men outnumbered female staff by an average of 70% to 30%. The majority of workers were white followed by Asian.
It’s something these tech camps hope to change. The staff says a third of iD Tech Camp's staff on the UW campus summer course are female. They hope to be role models for campers.