Los Angeles Students Learn to Build First Websites in Summer STEM Bootcamp
Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) participated in a STEM bootcamp in late June hosted by GEAR UP 4 LA and California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). The bootcamp was facilitated by CTeLearning and endorsed by the Web Professionals Organization.
This bootcamp was developed to inspire students to start thinking about their future careers and goals. The week-long experience was created to first get the students to conceptualize an entrepreneurial startup they would like to launch and run. With their startup in mind, they learned the tools necessary to actually create their first website. Not only did the students get a taste of the excitement for entrepreneurship, but they also got the opportunity to create a website with a client (their startup), a company with a purpose, and a product/service with a target audience and market.
Over the course of the bootcamp, students learned the skills to build their first websites using the programming language Bootstrap 5. The bootcamp was delivered totally online, and could be completed by students with any internet-connected device—including PC, Mac, Chromebook, and mobile devices. On the final day of the bootcamp, students enjoyed presenting their website creations to their co-learners and facilitators at the launch party. The course is in the process of being translated into Spanish to reach as many learners as possible.
A Fun STEM Bootcamp Summer Learning Experience
Throughout the bootcamp, students heard from entrepreneurs and professionals whose backgrounds include the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles FC, NASCAR, and The Mandalorian who encouraged the students and congratulated them for investing in their futures with both soft skills and hard skills. Led by two professional web developers, the bootcampers got an up-close and hands-on look at what it is like to be a part of this exciting and high-paying career pathway.
Sheyla Perez, GEAR UP 4 LA Counselor Aide at South East High School, said: “This year’s CSULA STEAM Camp gave our GEAR UP students a small taste of the career opportunities available to them in this field. With the help of professors and tutors, students learned to think like businesspeople, inventing a company and developing coding skills to build a website, which they presented on the last day of camp. Seeing indefinite lines of coding turn into pictures and phrases was such an amazing win for them! This was an experience to remember.”
Elizabeth Florencio, one of the teachers who helped facilitate the bootcamp, had this to say about her experience: “Even though the classroom was not designed for a Spanish-speaking student, the teachers were very welcoming and it was nice seeing how students became entrepreneurs and showed what they are capable of doing. It was just wonderful hearing their ideas and how they help their communities and turn their passion into reality! Not only was the website understandable but the teachers were just so happy to help, which encouraged students to be able to participate!”
Sebastian, one of the students who took the bootcamp, talked about the business idea he brought to life by creating a website to market his product: “We like to give our customers any kind of chips that is not mostly air. My business is to sell chip bags that are not mostly air, like a lot of chip bags are. That’s how we like to serve our customers, by actually giving them chips. We also send nacho cheese with the chips.”
Another student, Zeus, said, “I talked with my parents and decided I should come up with a business to help other people understand and know what crypto is. My business will also help people understand what investing is and how to do it.”
Lead Developer of CTeLearning Steve Waddell helped to facilitate the bootcamp, saying: “We were so excited to see the ESL students also be able to participate in this bootcamp opportunity. Fortunately, the CSULA-GEARUP team had anticipated this and had educator translators ready to go. Our development team went back and created a fully translated version of the bootcamp in Spanish. Now this exciting bootcamp will be even more accessible for our future Spanish-speaking bootcampers to enjoy. In fact, we have another bootcamp in the LA area in the third week of July.”
These students gained a glimpse into an exciting potential career path, learning skills to build a real-life website. For information on how you can get your students engaged with an engaging STEM bootcamp, click here and schedule a free demo.