UDC CAUSES New Urban Youth Education Program hosted its first-ever Virtual Summer Camp!

UDC CAUSES New Urban Youth Education Program hosted its first-ever Virtual Summer Camp!

UDC CAUSES New Urban Youth Education Program hosted its first-ever Virtual Summer Camp!

Virtual STEAM Camp Graphic

CAUSES Urban Youth Education Program partnered with the founder of Data Science Camp, Inc., Joyce Hunter, USDA Deputy Chief Information Officer for Policy and Planning, to host the program’s first virtual camp for high school students. Our camp’s focus was on educating youth about how data is collected, analyzed, and used to make effective decisions in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Math (STEAM). The camp program featured presentations from representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), ESRI and Tableau sharing their data collection practices, how they chose their careers, and what is entailed in gaining employment in their agencies. One of our featured speakers was Dr. Brittany Hoover from the UDC Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening. They discussed both her pathway to her current career and her typical workday. She shared a presentation and information about all of the UDC Urban Agriculture locations around the city. The campers were treated to presentations by two Black farmers with very different backgrounds tied together by a common farming passion.

John Boyd, President of the National Black Farmers Association, shared how Black farmers are being affected by the global pandemic. As a civil rights activist, he lobbies for equity in governmental programs. His 1,000-acre farm in rural Virginia was passed down through generations in his family that led to his career choice. Jon Jackson is the owner of Comfort Farms outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Jon, a US Army veteran, founded Comfort Farms in 2014 as his nonprofit Stag Vets’ first project. Comfort Farms grows heirloom vegetables and raises heritage turkeys, hogs, hens, rabbits, and fish to help veterans heal after their service. Both farmers have been impacted by the global pandemic and had to pivot their models to remain in business.

Two former campers turned presenters shared their experience, and one presenter Nia Riggins shared that her mother signed her up for the camp when she was in high school. Initially, she did not want to attend the program, but she became interested in biochemistry after her positive experience. Nia will be pursuing her Ph.D. this fall in Entomology at Penn State University. Nia will be pursuing her Ph.D. this fall in biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. In the latter part of the program, our youth learned about making and delivering effective presentations. In groups of three to four, they made presentations related to Renewal Energy, Urban Agriculture, Hunger and Poverty, and Food Security and Sustainability. The Adobe and Agritecture (the DLI Indicator) staff helped youth learn how to use their Spark software to make engaging and eye-catching presentations. In closing, event participants were gifted with backpacks full of gifts from sponsors and signed certificates from the Dean of CAUSES Dwane Jones, and DATA STEAM Camp founder, Joyce Hunter. We look forward to next year’s event! For a glimpse of this year’s event, visit here.

Video Recap

To check out video recaps from the 2020 Data S.T.E.A.M Camp, navigate below:

2020 DC STEAM Camp Description

2020 DC STEAM Camp Keynote Dr. Rockey

2020 DC STEAM Camp Keynote Christopher Alvarez

2020 DC STEAM Camp Rebecca Bankhead University of District of Columbia

2020 DC STEAM Camp – Urban Agriculture Team Presentation

2020 DC STEAM Camp – Hunger and Poverty Team Presentation

2020 DC STEAM Camp – Food Safety Team Presentation

2020 DC STEAM Camp – Renewable Energy Team Presentation