Geekdom Holds STEAM Summer Camp for Kids

July 31, 2019 - San Antonio

Article By: Dr. Joseph Lopez - Education, Tech & Business Reporter, SA Sentinel

Volunteers help kids perform a STEAM activity with a tablet. (Photo courtesy Geekdom STEAM Summer Camp.)

Volunteers help kids perform a STEAM activity with a tablet. (Photo courtesy Geekdom STEAM Summer Camp.)

As an educator and advocate for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) programming across San Antonio, I am always looking to report on new initiatives.  I was delighted to learn that Geekdom San Antonio, a local co-working space, posted on Facebook about a recent pilot kids tech camp.  

Geekdom STEAM Summer Camp was put together by the Geekdom events team and spearheaded by Josie Lugo, a Community & Events Manager and Jade Schoenberger, a Design & Marketing Manager at Geekdom.  After some initiative discussions of having a desire to engage with the community at large and specific programming around ages K-12, the Geekdom events team organized the summer camp which became a pilot of sorts for the company.  The summer camp occurred on July 17th, 2019, I was able to sit down with the organizers on July 26th, 2019 at Geekdom talk about their experience of hosting the camp and hear about their future plans.

The camp consisted of workshops that were developed and facilitated through Geekdom company partners  like Gameday Media, Merge VR and Codeup as well as the Geekdom staff themselves. Also present were Geekdom member volunteers who took time out of their days to engage and help with the camp.  The workshops revolved around STEAM-oriented programing.

Some examples they shared with me were:

  • Slime Creation and Exploration

  • Robotics and Programing (Sphero)

  • Egg Drop Challenge

  • Electronic Magnetic Dancer

  • Straw Roller Coaster

  • Merge Virtual Reality Equipment Demo and Exploration

The Camp hosted 35 attendees ranging in age from 7-17 years old.  Each attendee received a headset as a gift from Merge VR. It was inspiring to hear how enthusiastic and energized the organizers were about the experience. Jade Schoenberger, one of the key coordinators of the event, said that the Geekdom community response was amazing and that she received positive feedback from both the children and their parents. She also emphasized that, while it was a lot of work to plan, they plan to hold the event again in 2020 with an increased number of volunteers and sponsors.

Children check out the podcast studio at Geekdom. (Photo courtesy Geekdom STEAM Summer Camp.)

Children check out the podcast studio at Geekdom. (Photo courtesy Geekdom STEAM Summer Camp.)

As an education, tech, and business reporter, it was refreshing to meet organizers Jade Schoenberger and Josie Lugo, as they are both transplants to San Antonio. Josie is from San Juan, TX, but graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Jade is from Palo Alto, CA and graduated from Trinity University. Both mentioned how they loved the pace of the city and the relaxed atmosphere of the tech scene in San Antonio. Jade mentioned that she loved the potential to make an impact in the community and Josie specifically mentioned how she enjoyed their engagement with TechBloc.  When asked if they see San Antonio as a tech-centric city, Jade stated, “My experience with downtown San Antonio has always been at Geekdom. From my perspective it is a great tech city.”

“I definitely think TechBloc is doing great things for the city,” said Josie Lugo. “We are around (tech) all the time and we are just downtown, so getting more from outside (and) getting people downtown, really shows you a new light of the city. Bringing Reid Hastings (Co-Founder and CEO of Netflix) was really cool.  We are getting reached out to by different companies all the time about seeing what’s happening in San Antonio and I feel we are really starting to grow.