How our donors helped make summer camp more affordable

Making summer camps more affordable is a cause that’s easy for the Foundation to get behind.

And so, over the past couple of years this organization has provided grants to Eden Prairie Community Education for summer camps that teach youngsters about giving back to their community and how to use their science, math, and technology skills to build better robots.

Those are two very different camps, mind you, and the latter is a camp that was being held this week at Oak Point School for youngsters with an interest in robotics. It’s organized and run by Eden Prairie High School students who are part of the very successful Talon Robotics competition team.

On the afternoon we visited the camp, kids were testing their ability to use a short list of materials to transport batteries and golf balls across a zip line – without their holding device breaking before reaching the finish line.

Not long after, they were writing code on small laptop computers so that the wheeled, motorized devices they were building would know when to move forward, back, left and right in order to successfully navigate a maze.

Because the camp uses lots of equipment, it’s not easy to make it affordable for a wide range of youngsters. That’s where the Foundation grant comes into play – helping knock down the financial obstacles a family with kids may face. It’s a leveling of the playing field, you might say.

The Eden Prairie Community Foundation has “education” as one of its priority granting areas, but it doesn’t often venture into classroom projects. There’s already a very good organization doing that, and it’s called the Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools.

But summer camps and after-school activity scholarships –those are ways the Community Foundation can help develop Eden Prairie youngsters of all backgrounds and family incomes.

The Foundation is proud to have this link with Talon Robotics. It’s a talented group of kids, and you can find out more about their work on the Talon Robotics website.

Thank you, Foundation donors, for helping make grants of this type possible. You’re helping build a better community!

Mark Weber About the Author Mark Weber has been the executive director of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation since October 2013. In this role, he enjoys meeting with Eden Prairie residents, and being an active member of the community. If you’d like to connect with Mark, call him at (952) 949-8499 or email him. You can also read Mark’s full biography.

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