Lowekey Camp transforms high schoolers into developers
Last week, I had the privilege of attending Lowekey Camp, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had since joining IBM. Lowekey Camp is the brainchild of entrepreneur Gregory Lowe II, founder and CEO of Lowekey Lab. Gregory partnered with IBM to create this six-day programming summer camp for 20 high school students from his hometown of Maple Heights, Ohio. Mentors from IBM and Lowekey coached the students on how to create a startup and taught them how to build apps using IBM Bluemix and Swift.
It was a transformative experience not only for the students, but also for me personally. Along with the rest of the IBM team, I was able to implement one of IBM’s main values: “Innovation that matters, for our company and for the world.”
If at most events our marketing efforts are focused on promoting our company’s innovative products and services, this time we focused on the world, helping high school students from Maple Heights gain invaluable skills for life. Hearing the students talk about how this camp changed their perception of the tech industry made the whole trip worth it. One female student told me she had thought all programmers were “men in suits and ties.” By the end of the week, it became obvious to her that she could become a developer if she decided to do so.
Hear Sydney, one of the Lowekey student developers, in her own words, talk about how the camp impacted her perception of her future:
In the beginning of the week, the students were divided into four groups. Each group got to work with an experienced entrepreneur to build their own app and business. At the end of the week, the four teams created mock-ups of their apps:
Winning project: Team ‘Hi ED’
Hi ED is an app that helps high school students decide which school to apply to using messaging bots powered by Watson API.
Members of the “Hi ED” team, including Sydney from the video above, not only won personal iPads, but they have also been added to the Lowekey Lab incubator for the coming year and will be personally mentored by Gregory Lowe II.
In addition to the winning team, all students who participated at Lowekey Camp gained invaluable skills that will highly benefit them in the future. The sky is the limit for these kids, and I’m looking forward to hearing about their success stories in the future.