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Tech Camp Gives Peek

Looking for a technical diversion or considering important academic course choices, a group of incoming ninth and 10th-graders received this week a summertime sneak peek at the Killeen ISD Career Center.
The 50 students cycled through four classes during the four-day, four-hour-a-day Technology Camp.
The mini-sessions gave students experience with robotics simulations, an industrial robotic arm, video game design and cybersecurity.
Four Career Center instructors provided the sessions, each highlighting their own programs.
“I like that we can give an introduction to our program,” said cybersecurity teacher Lindsey Nennig. “When they make a high school plan they can have a better idea of their actual interests.”
Students worked through cybersecurity games to learn to identify potential threats. They also learned about taking computers apart and writing programs.
“This is a good experience,” said Michael Curet-Troud. “We’re getting into what we will be learning about. I enjoy it. I’m getting a head start.” He is going into ninth grade at Ellison High School and is interested in robotics and considering attending the Career Center.
Students at the Career Center, from 10th through 12th grade typically spend either the morning or the afternoon at the specialty career-focused high school and half the day at their comprehensive high school. Some students choose to stay all day at the Career Center.
Robotics teacher Jesus Mancillas gave the camp students a taste of robotics simulations and ended the event Thursday giving students a chance to fly a drone.
“We’re providing a little bit of ‘wow factor’ for them,” he said. “This is designed to give them a look at some of the great opportunities here at the Career Center. It’s like a demonstration.”
“It gives them a sneak peek,” said video game design teacher Michael Page. “They might think they like video game design and find out they really prefer robotics. They can find that out before they get locked into a sequence of classes.”

"I didn't want to come," said Ellison freshman M'Kayla Miska, admitting the 8 in the morning start time wasn't her idea of a summer break. "I thought it would be like summer school, but it wasn't. It was fun. I like STEM." She plans to attend the Career Center and explore a range of interests.

"It's been really fun. I liked the camp," said Ellison sophomore Tori Gaskell. "I liked taking apart a computer and the cybersecurity." She plans to attend the Career Center, mainly to study digital graphics.