The first ICT Summer School initiative is digIT which is being run by the Australian Mathematics Trust. digIT is aimed at capable students in years 8 and 9 who are from groups which are under-represented in STEM learning areas and may be at risk of not benefiting from the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies. Now, personally, I’d argue that definition covers all Australian students – thanks to real problems with the Digital Curriculum – but the Trust is targeting students who are “disadvantaged, rural/remote and/or Indigenous”. That does, they have confirmed, include students from disadvantaged metropolitan schools.
digIT is a six-month program that combines two residential camps and a mentoring program. The camps will enable the students to explore all aspects of ICT through guest lectures, interactive sessions, practicals and field trips. Central to this will be the development of algorithmic thinking and coding skills. The mentoring program will see each student matched with a mentor recruited from a variety of ICT backgrounds and together they will construct personal goals for the student. This might include discussing study options and career pathways, undertaking further extension work with support from their mentor, developing ideas based on learnings from the camp or working on a project.
It’s also worth noting that digIT is searching for tutors to join the program at the moment.
The National Computer Science Summer School is not a new initiative, although its continued existence was looking a bit dodgy there for a while. NCSS is a ten-day summer school for students going into years 11 and 12. NCSS brings together talented young people from around Australia for an intensive course of computer programming and website development in the School of IT at the University of Sydney.
NCSS 2017 will run from Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 12th January, 2017. The school is completely residential, with all students staying with NCSS staff in full-board accommodation. The cost of NCSS is heavily subsidised by sponsors, so the cost per student approximately $440 in 2017.