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MetroED Hosts First-Ever Middle School Camp with Alum Rock Union School District

Middle School Camp students show off their mood board

Last week marked a milestone for MetroED as it hosted its inaugural Middle School camp in collaboration with the Alum Rock Union School District and Think Together, Bay Area Region. This groundbreaking initiative provided approximately 40 Alum Rock students with an immersive experience delving into five diverse career paths at Silicon Valley Career Technical Education (SVCTE) center: Electrical Vehicles/Automotive Services, Fashion Design & Textile Art, Mechatronics Engineering, Medical Assisting, and Medical Science/Health Careers. Across their spring break, these young minds engaged in hands-on exploration, fostering creativity and igniting passions that could shape their futures.

Camila Caldron, a participant in Mechatronics, expressed her motivation for joining the camp: "I didn’t want to be a couch potato. I wanted to do something special and cool.”

For many participants like Victor Guido, the EV track presented an opportunity for practical knowledge applicable to daily life: "There's a lot of people that take their cars in, and I can just fix my own and not waste money." This hands-on approach empowers students with skills and cultivates a sense of independence and resourcefulness.

Sandra Garcia, director II state and federal programs for Alum Rock Union School District, expressed gratitude for the partnership: "I just feel like we have given the students an opportunity to think about their future a little sooner than high school." This proactive approach to career exploration equips students with the tools to make informed decisions about their academic and professional paths.

The camp culminated with a celebration showcasing the students' remarkable achievements. A gallery walk featuring catapults, mood boards, and lemon batteries served as a testament to the students' creativity and ingenuity.

Richard Tran, the Think Together Bay Area Region's general manager, lauded the partnership's success: "I think it definitely exceeded our expectations. Each of the classrooms is such a special place that’s been created here." 

Cynthia Garcia, who participated in both Mechatronics and Medical Assisting, reflected on her experience: "I really enjoyed it. For the medical assisting, I just thought it was going to be that they would check our knees, but it was really cool." 

Looking ahead, Sandra Garcia expressed aspirations to expand the camp's reach: "My goal next year is to double the amount of students here today and increase the opportunities." 

This commitment to broadening access to experiential learning underscores the camp's mission to empower the next generation of innovators and leaders.

Classroom photos / Celebration photos / Wrap-up video

Shannon Carr