Teens build their own PCs at SC State 1890 Extension’s TechBridge Summer Camp

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wiliamsburg County teen builds PC at 1890 Extension's TechBridge Summer CampORANGEBURG – The 1890 Extension Program at South Carolina State University, in collaboration with Henkels & McCoy Inc., rewarded more than 60 students with brand new computers after participating in a technology-based and academic summer camp. The computers, which were completely built by the students, were given to them to take home during five separate award receptions that were held between July 24 and Aug. 7, 2007.

Rising 7th and 8th grade students from Anderson, Colleton, Marlboro, Orangeburg and Clarendon counties participated in TechBridge, a six-week summer program that introduced and reinforced the importance of academics, especially in the areas of mathematics and reading comprehension, through the use of technology. Based on cutting edge technology and trends of the future, the program’s objectives include: academic enhancement through technology, computer assembly, introduction to computers and setup, Windows XP, introduction to keyboarding, instructional hours in career exploration, employability skills training, citizenship training, and Internet Explorer and safety.

“By combining our knowledge of training programs and sound educational principles with the expectations of private sector employers, we have developed programs to help meet and exceed standards in today’s demand occupations and help youth succeed academically,” said Kal Kunkel, project manager, Henkels and McCoy Inc. “Our partnership with SC State’s 1890 Extension Program has allowed us to continue our empowerment and support of students as they move toward independence and self-sufficiency,” he said.

In keeping with SC State University’s mission of providing economic opportunities, teachers from the local community worked at the various program sites as instructors.

“TechBridge is another example of 1890 Research and Extension's commitment to taking our programs to the people,” said Delbert T. Foster, assistant administrator for Community Education and Public Service Activities. “This is our second year offering the program, and because of our efforts, 120 middle school students from across this state are now ambassadors for technology, who will teach what they learned to their peers and employ the skills gained to achieve and succeed scholastically.” “We must continue to prepare our students to become productive citizens in this dynamic global society in which we live, and bridging the gap in the ‘digital divide’ puts us one step closer to achieving that goal,” he said.

Award receptions for students were held in: Anderson County on Tuesday, July 24, at the West Community Center in Anderson, S.C.; the Hampton Cluster on Thursday, July 26, at Colleton County High School in Walterboro, S.C.; the Williamsburg Cluster on Tuesday, July 31, at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Paxville, S.C.; the Orangeburg Cluster on Wednesday, Aug. 1, at the John W. Matthews Jr. 1890 Extension Center in Orangeburg, S.C.; and the Marlboro Cluster on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at The SKYE in Bennettsville, S.C.

As the cornerstone of the historical land-grant status of South Carolina State University, 1890 Research and Extension assists diverse rural and urban limited-resource audiences by conducting research that seeks to address the problems affecting South Carolinians and offering outreach programs in the following focus areas: 4-H and Youth Development; Adult Leadership and Community Development; Environment and Natural Resources; Small Farm Assistance and Outreach; Family Life; Technology and Data Management; and Nutrition, Food Safety and Wellness.

For more information about TechBridge or the 1890 Extension Program, please contact Demier Z. Richardson at (803) 533-3664.