RVC Ignites Innovation and Skills Development for Middle School Students

Summer Manufacturing and Readiness Technology (SMART) Camp is back at Rock Valley College in summer 2024. Sparking interest in the world of automation and fabrication, these one-week, non-credit summer camps allow middle school students to explore the career areas of welding, mechatronics, and CNC machining. In addition, participants will also learn about principles of entrepreneurship and how that relates to careers.



Smart Camp, 2023

"We are thrilled to announce the return of our free summer technology camps at Rock Valley College, providing an exciting opportunity for middle school students to delve into welding, CNC, and mechatronics. Empowering young minds with hands-on experiences in these cutting-edge fields will not only ignite their passion for technology but also pave the way for future innovators and industry leaders,” said Dr. Hansen Stewart, Vice President of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development at Rock Valley College.

Students will engage in hands-on welding, CNC, and mechatronics activities, work on a collaborative group project, and go on industry tours. Participants will also engage in lunch presentations with local industry professionals.

Following a successful inaugural year, the college is excited to bring back SMART Camps for year two. This program is made possible by a grant from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). Because of the grant, it is completely free for students to participate, and breakfast, lunch and transportation are included each day of SMART camp.

In year one, RVC partnered with community organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Boys and Girls Club, Community Life, and Zion West Enterprises. These organizations serve our youth, and their partnerships contribute to the program's success. Check out this short video to see year one students in action and to learn more about SMART Camp.

According to Dr. Stewart, “This initiative reflects our commitment to fostering curiosity, skills development, and a pathway towards successful careers in the dynamic world of career and technical education which is piloted by automation and technology."

 Interested in SMART Camp? Rock Valley College Early College Department is currently accepting applications. The deadline to apply is April 24. Visit https://www.rockvalleycollege.edu/admissions-and-aid/early-college/smart-camp for more information.