IBM and Membertou are partners this week in delivering a one-week Summer Camp in Membertou for students in grades 5 to 7. “Building Membertou’s Future Workforce,” is how Chief Terry Paul referred to this unique Tech Camp. This week, these kids get to explore the wonders of technology, learn coding, conduct science experiments, program robots and get to visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and Fortress of Louisbourg. This morning I sat in on one a session in coding and I was so impressed with the team from IBM and how they engaged the kids. I really thought this was going to be boring, and on such a hot summer day. To help the kids understand what coding is, they told the kids to turn off their computers and did some role playing. The IBM instructor asked another IBM staff person to be “the computer” and asked each student to give the computer a command. First a student said, Tom, I think that was the staff person’s name, take ten steps forward. Tom took ten steps forward. It was impressive that most students gave clear instructions, or code, and how they really started to understand what coding is, programming for us older folk. To me, this Summer camp that IBM calls “STEM”, for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, is all about planting seeds, hoping that some of these young kids will think about a career or future in one of these areas. We need to plant those seeds early so they study science and math in high school, so they are prepared, otherwise their options become limited. Proud of the role our office, the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office (MEBO) played in bringing this partnership together with IBM. Hopefully this is the first of many great partnerships with IBM, as we build our future workforce. Special thanks to Lynn Clark with HR for IBM. In one of the photos Lynn is on the left, with two students from Membertou and she was instrumental in bringing this summer camp to Membertou.