Hanging out with friends is often a holiday solution for teens – at home, in town, at the pool. Parents often look for fun activities to keep their children busy and stimulated. So what’s the attraction of digital and entrepreneurship summer camps? Are these just more screen-based activities? Not at all! Summer camps provide student-student interaction, parent-child activities, new meetings, new knowledge and skill acquisition. Above all, they are fun!

Both published studies and anecdotal evidence show that the influence of school and family is high when it comes to encouraging scientific and digital interests. The summer camps that digitalswitzerland/nextgeneration showcases provide skills and knowledge to prompt young people’s interest in computational thinking, robotics, coding, game design and entrepreneurship. Summer camps are a way for digitalswitzerland to support and promote current and future talent in Switzerland. Last year the nextgeneration camps were hugely successful; we hope this year will be even better. There are now camps in all regions of Switzerland.

Entrepreneurship

The startup scene is fun, attractive, innovative and exciting, and offers another approach to professional aspirations: creating one’s own jobs! How can design thinking help teens create a cool product in the digital age? How do they find out what users want, do a great marketing and sell it for the right price? Ginger’s camps in Lausanne and Zurich give students a fun and pragmatic way to learn how entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs innovate, converting their ideas into consumer products, apps or services users love.

Gaming, coding and computing

Youth are often more digitally versatile than their parents, even though they have frequently not had formal education on digital skills. Basic understanding of how computers work, what coding means and how to acquire computational thinking are working their way slowly onto the national education agenda. In the meantime, summer camps are a way to introduce the subjects easily. 

Codillion is focusing on game design this year in Basel, Bern, St Gallen, Wetzikon, Zurich and Zug.

Mint&Pepper, created by ETH, are running “Mission Rosetta” camps in Zurich, a voyage of discovery during which children and young people are gradually introduced to robotics and learn how a robot perceives its environment, how it finds its way around and how it moves around. With the help of current technology, participants learn how different technologies can be used meaningfully and how they influence our society. EPFL in Lausanne offers a wide range of camps, including a robotics camp based on Lego Mindstorms.

ICT-Scouts&Campus, active in schools throughout the year, runs summer camps to encourage teens actively to engage in ICT professions. In the Italian part of Switzerland and created by SUPSI, TEENinformatiCAMP is focused on coding and digitalisation. In other words, throughout Switzerland there are opportunities for children and teens to learn new skills while having great fun.

Sign up and spread the word

How many times do friends wonder aloud how to keep their children busy? If you have children aged 6-19, if you live near one the camps or if you have friends who might be interested in these camps, please sign your children up now or share this blog post with  your friends. We will keep you posted about new camps added to our nextgeneration initiative. Stay tuned and subscribe to our Newsletter!

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Author Danièle Castle, digitalswitzerland

Senior Director Education & Talent

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