Summer Manufacturing Camp Programs Have Lasting Impact

HCC 2021 Summer Camp
A new Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs (NBT) impact study of their summer manufacturing camp programs shows immediate and lasting benefits.

The study analyzed six years of camp survey data from hosts and participants, along with quantitative and qualitative data from manufacturers and industry supporters. Click here to read the full NBT Program Impact Study.

Key Findings of the Study:
1) NBT camps expose middle and early high school youth to manufacturing careers and increase their awareness of educational pathways and manufacturing jobs in their community.
  • 92% of camp participants reported that they were aware of career options in manufacturing by the end of the camp, a 20% increase from pre-camp to post-camp responses. 
  • 95% of camp participants reported that they increased their understanding of how STEM and CTE (Career and Technical Education) courses are used in careers in manufacturing by attending the camp. 
  • 68% of camp participants reported that they knew the types of manufacturing jobs available in their local community by the end of camp, an 82% increase from pre to post responses. 
  • 79% of camp participants reported that they understood the training needed for a future manufacturing career by the end of camp, a 43% increase from pre to post responses
2) NBT camps provide a fun, engaging atmosphere for camp participants to learn new skills using manufacturing equipment and learn about courses and programs to continue building on those skills.
  • 78% of camp participants reported that they understood how to construct a product from start to finish using manufacturing equipment and tools by the end of camp, a 53% increase from pre to post responses. 
  • 100% of camp hosts informed camp participants of STEM-related courses and CTE programs offered at local high schools and community/ trade colleges. 
  • 62% of camp hosts reported stories of individuals who continued to pursue what they learned at the camp and/or were inspired to pursue a career in manufacturing.
3) NBT camps provide meaningful benefits to the schools and organizations that host camps and to the local manufacturers that sponsor and support the camps.
  • 90% of camp hosts reported that they made new connections and/or strengthened relationships with local manufacturing companies. 
  • 100% of camp hosts reported that hosting a manufacturing camp helped their school or organization to increase their visibility and promote a positive image in the community. 
  • 70% of manufacturers saw their support of manufacturing camps as a means to collaborate with local middle and high schools and/or colleges, thereby reaching a younger population in the community. 
  • 100% of manufacturers reported that a major benefit of sponsoring camps was the opportunity to grow the future workforce for their company and in their communities

NBT awarded grants for K-12 manufacturing-related camps to several Florida colleges: Hillsborough Community College (HCC), the College of Central Florida (CF) and State College of Florida (SCF).  The HCC camps began in June with an on-site Engineering & Tech Camp for High School and Virtual Robotics Camps (Intro & Intermediate) for Middle School.

The July All-Girls Intro to Robotics Camp for girls ages 12-17 was changed to in-person and was held at the HCC campus in Brandon.  This Girls-Only camp was free to all campers and included a JIMU Astrobot by UBTECH to keep. Additional camps held from July 12-23 included two in-person robotics camps for Middle School.

Robotics-focused summer camps often have a big impact on individual campers and, it can happen for any age  student.  HCC's Engineering Technology and Manufacturing Program has identified a number of their program students that had previously attended a summer robotics camp in middle school or high school. The opportunity to mix technology, robotics and design with FUN in a non-threatening environment supports a strong, impactful learning environment. Want to increase your college enrollment or your workforce in industry?  Then get involved with your local summer robotics and /or technology camps or start your own! (It's not too early to start planning for summer 2022.)

Did you have a camp this summer? Tell us about it so FLATE can feature your camp in a future news article. Send details to

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