Caroline Elswick had a goal to learn how to play “Happy Birthday” on the guitar by today.
However, the Myrtle Beach Middle schooler’s guitar is not the wood and string version people expect.
She created a “guitar” using a piece of paper, graphite from a pencil, electric current and a computer as part of the four-day iTeams camp at Conway Middle School put on by the S.C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics.
“I never thought I could make a guitar out of paper, pencil and electricity,” she said. “It is so cool.”
More than 75 students from middle schools all over Horry County gathered at Conway Middle School this week to learn about technology and how it can be used in the workplace.
Sonja Taylor, diversity recruitment manager and iTeams camp coordinator, said students had to apply to participate in the program.
In the program, there were three challenges set out for students. Students had to pick one of the three for their project including creating a video game using a program called Alice, creating a mobile app using a program called App Inventor or creating an interactive object using a program called Makey Makey.
Elswick used the program Makey Makey to create her guitar.
Jason Turrentine, a student at Forestbrook Middle, who used the program Alice to create his video game, said it was cool to control every piece of the game.
In his game, players had to fly through five hoops without touching them to win the prize of grape soda.
“We used the computer and coded the game to however we wanted,” he said. “It was interesting to see what I could make it do.”
Ian Reddout, a teacher at Green Sea Floyds and mentor for the iTeams program, said it is amazing to see what the students can do with technology.
“It is extremely gratifying to see how much these kids learn and what they can do with the technology that is available today,” he said. “The fact that a student can create a guitar with so little just amazes me.”
Taylor said the goal of iTeam camp is to help students generate an interest in a technology career.
“There is a huge deficit of well trained available employees for the tech field in the United States,” she said. “If we can get these kids interested and trained in technology, the big companies won’t have to go to other countries to find workers.”
iTeams started in Berkley County through a partnership with Google. The program is now in 10 counties across South Carolina.
Eileen Fleming-Patonay, coordinator for the Waccamaw Regional Education Center, said she was excited about the iTeams camp coming to Horry County.
“I am here to show the students that they can connect this fun learning to jobs in the real world,” she said.
The students will hold a show and tell for their projects today at 2 p.m. at Conway Middle. The closing ceremony event is open to the public.