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TWC Grants Enable Middle School Students to Attend STEM Summer Camps

News Category Press Releases
May 9, 2023

Media Contact: Angela Woellner
Phone: 512-463-8556

AUSTIN – Students will attend various camps across the state this summer for free to get a head start in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. Camp Code will offer 1,207 middle school students summer camp scholarships in coding and computer science after Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) awarded 12 grants totaling $736,432.

“Texas continues to ensure our workforce needs of tomorrow are met by preparing the bright young minds of today with the skills needed to thrive in high-demand, STEM-focused careers,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “I thank the Texas Workforce Commission for providing opportunities for Texas students to learn coding, computer sciences, and other advanced technologies. By providing STEM lessons at Camp Code, Texas school districts and institutions of higher education are giving students a head start on creative problem-solving and analytics that will propel them on a path for success in their future careers and create a brighter future for Texas.”

“The Texas Workforce Commission continues its effort to prepare the future workforce for the continued advances in technology industries,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “TWC strives to provide opportunities to connect with our youth across the state to help generate both potential career pathways and create educational, and fun, summer camps.”

The grants were awarded to independent school districts, universities, higher education institutions, and supporting entities to help young Texans learn problem-solving and analytical skills. Lessons focus on advanced technology, with students working in teams to use programming languages to build games, web pages, and robots.

“STEM careers are a vital piece of the workforce development puzzle and Camp Code creates a talent pipeline from a very early age for Texas employers looking to fill these in-demand, high-income positions,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “Texas is seen as a leader in STEM careers, and TWC supports businesses by preparing the next generation.”

Camp Code grants fund summer camps offering computer science projects incorporating art and storytelling, with industry-relevant experiences with programs that include building and programming robots using the LEGO® Mindstorms Environment, Python Game Design, and other hands-on engineering projects.

“These camps open doors for children, especially girls, to have opportunities to learn technical skills that will show them a path towards a STEM career field,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Alberto Treviño III. “The scholarships make it possible for students in rural areas to learn engineering and design skills that will foster their interest in robotics and coding.”

The 12 recipients of the Camp Code grants are:

  • Vanguard Academy, $99,668 – 234 scholarships with an interactive approach to designing and coding robots. The students will use engineering design processes and VEXcode IQ to refine their prototypes; incorporate Block, C++, and VexCode Pro, which are used extensively in the workplace.
  • University of Houston, $96,600 –138 scholarships with the unique approach of the UH DesignYOU! to engage middle school students in coding and STEM concepts and careers based on their pre-existing interests in fashion and retailing.
  • South Texas College, $44,815 – 72 scholarships to create prototypes of different electronic projects utilizing actual engineering design software and industrial components such as pneumatic valves, programmable logic controllers, solenoids, and relays.
  • University of Houston Clear Lake, $52,480 – 75 scholarships the topics including unplugged coding activities and software tools interaction such as Blockly, Code Combat, Kodable and Code Monkey.
  • Victoria College Junior College District, $30,800 – 44 scholarships with experience in industry-standard coding, programming languages and environments, and industry-relevant applications such as mobile, web, and robotics.
  • University of the Incarnate Word GEMS, $33,283 – 50 scholarships to use Python and MATLAB scripting, LEGO education SPIKE prime robots to reinforce the application of coding/programming concepts through hands-on engineering projects.
  • Angelo State University, $29,861 – 60 scholarships for three camps focusing on beginner-level coding and robotic skills using the LEGO® EV3 Mindstorms Environment.
  • Urban STEM, $99,391 –160 scholarships in microcontrollers like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Texas Instruments, software like Android, Adobe, Raspbian, IDE, Mindstorms EV3, Auto CAD, Tinkercad, Turtle Blocks, Tello, Sphero, and languages that include Scratch, Python, Java Script; products developed/built: Robotics Hand, Drones, Robotic Rovers – (mBot, Spike Prime and Vex), Apps, 3D printed elements and Minecraft.
  • Harlingen CISD, $69,998 – 100 scholarships on programming and coding, using SPHERO kits, Tinker CAD, Microbit Coding Boards, and Autonomous Robotics STEM PBL Unit.  
  • Del Mar College, $23,800 –34 scholarships to provide challenging and innovative concepts in learning, problem-solving, and analytical skills while fostering an interest in computer coding/programming using robots and drones. 
  • Paris Junior College, $57,560 – 90 scholarships with an interactive approach to designing and coding robots using Sphero BOLT Coding, Block and Python coding.
  • University of North Texas, $98,176 – 150 scholarships to learn a popular programming language, Python, and experience its power in developing software that runs on the MicroBit platform and on the LEGO Spike platform.


The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.