Rowan-Cabarrus Community College inspires youth with science and technology summer camps

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 14, 2015

KANNAPOLIS — Back by popular demand, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Science and Technology Camps are set to return this summer. Popular topics like game design and mobile app development will return as well as the addition of youth entrepreneurship and a space balloon launch.

This summer will mark the fifth year of ever-expanding Science and Technology Camps at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. The camps help students imagine, plan, design and create their very own video game or mobile app. Students can also participate in the new youth entrepreneurship camp and learn how their new skills can grow into a thriving business.

The camps are designed to excite and inspire young minds as they explore their interests and consider career options for the future.

“Game development is being implemented in many different types of industries and professions. Simulation and design are already being used in Fortune 500 companies for education, training and management modules,” said Ian Stevens, associate dean of information technologies. “The expansion of game design development techniques within all industries will eventually be inevitable.”

Rowan-Cabarrus developed the Science and Technology Camps to introduce students to the world of computer programming, and the course offerings have grown based on feedback and industry needs.

“These budding developers are often unaware that they’re learning important transferrable skills and concepts they must eventually master to succeed in the competitive global IT workforce – things like object-oriented and event-driven programming, agile development, graphic interface design, idea sharing, peer review, the revision process, presentation, and, above all, confidence,” said Zach Hubbard, camp coordinator. “Students leave having completed a game in a week that would have taken seasoned developers from earlier generations a year to develop.”

Students interested in a science career will be excited about the brand new space balloon launch camp. Following NASA guidelines, students will participate in the entire process of a helium weather balloon, from design to launch.

“These camps bring education and fun together,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “I’m excited about the new ways Rowan-Cabarrus is reaching the community. From creating camps like this to developing more online courses and degrees, we are trying new and different ways to improve the access and availability of quality education. These camps are further evidence of the college’s commitment to STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – education.”

The camps cover a variety of topics:

Xbox Game Development  

In this camp, we don’t play games, we make them! This summer camp will teach the fundamentals of computer programming through the use of Microsoft’s XNA Game Development Software Package. Each camper designs and creates a fully functional game. Basic computer literacy is necessary.

Xbox Game Development Level 2 

In this camp, students will build more complex games with more enhanced sounds, music, levels and gameplay. More complex game rules and more sophisticated games will continue to satisfy the camper’s need to be intrigued and to be creative. Successful completion of the Xbox Game Development Level 1 is required.

Unreal Game Development          

In this advanced course, campers who have honed their skills in previous game development camps can take their creativity to a whole new level using the open source software Unreal Engine 3. Unreal Engine 3 is a complete game development framework. Every aspect of the Unreal Engine 3 game development toolset has been designed with ease of content creation and programming in mind, with the goal of putting as much power as possible in the hands of artists and designers to develop assets in a visual environment with minimal programmer assistance. Intermediate game creation skills or completion of an Intermediate Game Development Camp is required. 

Android Mobile Apps Development

Have you ever wondered how to create your own app? Develop and launch your own mobile app in four days! The Rowan-Cabarrus Mobile Apps Camp introduces students to the growing world of mobile apps, and teaches them the technology and skill of creating apps from conception to development. Basic computer literacy is essential; however, prior application development is not necessary.

Space Balloon Launch

In this unique course students, following the guidelines of a NASA-sponsored college competition, will work in a small team that will design, engineer and launch a helium weather balloon to the edge of space. 

Youth Entrepreneurship

In this course, young moguls will develop critical thinking and leadership skills and gain an understanding of entrepreneurship as a career option while having fun creating and planning their own business.

“We want people to know about the great offerings at Rowan-Cabarrus,” said Spalding. “The Science and Technology Camps show students and parents that we offer innovative courses and programs that they might not think about otherwise.”

In addition to the camps, Rowan-Cabarrus also offers high school students tuition-free courses for college credit through the Career & College Promise program. The program allows students to simultaneously enroll in high school and college so that they can receive both high school and college credit for courses taken as part of the program.

“This tuition-free program for high school juniors and seniors gives them the opportunity to get a ‘jump start’ on a two-year or four-year degree while still in high school,” said Spalding.

Rowan-Cabarrus offers options for students to get a head start in careers like fire protection, criminal justice, machining, web technologies, welding and more. In addition, the college offers college transfer and general education classes as part of the Career & College Promise program. These courses are weighted just like honors classes, making them a great alternative to Advanced Placement courses.

“As an AP Computer Science student at Cox Mill High School … the RCCC summer camp truly helped me gain a better understanding (in) my computer programming studies, as well as enlightened me to continue a career path of computer science,” said Andrew, a student in one of the college’s 2014 camps.

For more dates, times and more information on the camps, visit or call 704-216-3546.