TechKnowHow: Sue Mofsie-Stevenson
From time to time Sign Up For Camp conducts interviews with camp directors to collect advice for parents looking for unique experiences for their kids. We recently exchanged emails with Sue Mofsie-Stevenson. She has been developing tech curriculum and teaching students for over ten years at TechKnowHow, Computer and LEGO® Summer Day Camps for students in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a background in graphic design and website creation, over 30 years experience in personnel management, and has always been fascinated by the world of science, technology, and robotics. She also has a commitment to keep learning and is currently enrolled in the free online Stanford Engineering SEE program. She says that she loves sharing her knowledge of technology and seeing the excitement on the student’s faces when they are building a robot and/or designing a computer game.
With so many camps available, how can parents find the right camp for their child? Any specific advice on selecting a computer camp?
Know your child’s likes and dislikes. Have your child be part of the summer camp selection process. Have your child accompany you to visit your local summer camp fair. Explore the website of the summer camps you and your child are interested in. Read the camp’s description, view pictures and/or videos of the summer camp.
Talk to other parents regarding camps that their child may have attended. Call the customer service phone number of a camp you may be interested in. Make sure they are responsive to all your questions and/or concerns.
What questions should a parent ask a camp?
- What type of student is this camp designed for?
- How is the class/camp structured?
- What about the age ranges – will my child be too young or too old compared with the rest of the class?
- What’s the camper: staff ratio?
- Who are the instructors and do all instructors go through a criminal history background check?
- What type of training do instructors receive?
- Will there be adult supervision throughout the day?
- Do students get some outdoor recreation?
- Do they serve lunch and a snack?
- Is before and after-school care offered?
Some kids attend as many as 10 weeks of summer camp. The summer can seem long. Any tips on preventing camp burn-out?
If a student has a strong interest in the class/camp content, there is a very strong likelihood that he/she will enjoy the class, regardless of how many camps they have attended in the summer. We have found that interest is the key ingredient in ensuring a fruitful experience in our classes.
How should parents help kids prepare for camp?
Talk to your child about the camp prior to attending. Prior to the first day of camp, review with your child any information that your camp provider has given you. Teacher’s name, bio, and the weekly class schedule. Pack lots of water and low sugar snacks for break time. Tell them to have fun, after all it is summer!!!!
Tell us what is special about TechKnowHow.
TechKnowHow began providing afterschool computer classes to students in 1994 and have been offering summer computer camps since 1996, as well offering classes for GATE students and enrichment programs. Each year, we design new classes for the summer and perfect them throughout the school year. We continue to add classes and locations each year, building on the positive feedback we receive from campers and parents each summer.
Our classes are designed so students can learn technology skills while engaged in fun and interesting projects. We begin classes with a quick overview of concepts then students get started on their projects. Teachers engage with students while they are working on their projects, assist students and answer questions. At appropriate stages of the project, students test the performance of what they’ve created, interacting with other campers and the teachers in the process. Each day, the students learn new skills and solidify ones learned earlier in the camp — all in a supportive and fun atmosphere.
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