I was recently asked if I wanted to write about my experience attempting to create a startup last summer in Belmont Summer Camp. I was a counselor at YouthStartup, now StartupWonder, a technology and innovation summer camp. We build an App in the Camp or rather I taught other kids to build an App and Game Design. As a computer science major, I am very familiar with the joy of coding and the frustration of trying to find that elusive bug. However, the surprise was when I tried to teach kids how to make the App we helped them build into a product. I got so much more than I bargained for! Who knew it would be so much fun researching the market and creating surveys. The camp curriculum was excellent and easy to follow. So, the kids could totally understand it. I was impressed how easily children pick up a new subject and improvise. I am convinced that the entrepreneurial model of learning, Lean or Agile learning as our camp director called it, is the best way to learn something enough to see if it peaks your curiosity to justify putting more effort into learning more.
Based on the “market” feedback for the App the campers created, they had to make some changes to the design. Also, it was such a joy to watch them try to price their product and ask anyone they would want on the campground about the pricing. My counterparts in Palo Alto camp were just as enthusiastic about their students and the projects they were building.
StartupWonder provides Bay Area Summer Camps in Technology, STEM, Coding and Business for kids and children in grades 2-12. StartupWonder was founded to encourage youth to practice their creativity in real life problems and determine viability of those creative solutions. We teach STEM and computer coding or programming in summer camp so students can invent a product or solution, learn to write code and design computer games or Apps. Student will then investigate how to bring their solution to life and productizing it by writing a business plan. Finally, they have to pitch their startup idea in the Convention contest where they get feedback and winners receive awards.
Any child can Start Wonder!