The sound of keyboards clacking, robots whirring, students giggling and ideas being shared are common at summer computing camps, but such camps can be difficult to start-up and the costs of purchasing the initial equipment often prove prohibitive.  Thankfully, the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) program offers support both logistically and financially.  The Center for STEM Education at The University of Texas at Austin recently hosted an ECEP workshop entitled, How to Run an Effective Computing Summer Camp, with 16 face-to-face participants along with 25+ virtual attendees, from colleges, universities, nonprofits, and school districts from across the country.  

The goal of the workshop was to share a toolkit of resources related to planning and running a summer camp including logistics, budget, advertising, potential content to include, maybe most importantly, how to apply to ECEP for a grant to purchase equipment to use during these camps.  Barbara Ericson, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, led the workshop and is also the co-principal investigator on the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that is sponsoring these workshops. ECEP, along with Oracle, is providing funding for the seed money mini-grants.  Eligible institutions and organizations from partner states (Alabama, California, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Texas, and South Carolina) may apply for the seed grants which provide up to $4999 for the purchase of equipment. For more information, visit ECEP online.

This workshop was hosted by the Center for STEM Education as part of on-going efforts to increase the number of students receiving formal and/or informal instruction in computer science and computer science related fields.  More information about these efforts may be found on the Computer Science Resources page and subscribing to the program’s Computer Science Network Blog will provides updates about events, opportunities, and to keep informed about all things CS is Texas.

For more information on the Center for STEM Education including our academic program in STEM education visit us at