Cupcakes and calculus

Published 1:04 pm Thursday, June 16, 2016

What do cupcakes and calculus have in common? Students at Southside Virginia Community College are learning about both through the wide variety of camps and classes available this summer.

Calculus is just one of many opportunities for students who are continuing their studies, working toward certifications, associates degrees or entry into a four-year institution.

In addition to mathematics, the college’s summer schedule features offerings in many other diverse areas from accounting to welding (Too bad we don’t offer zoology).

Some other summertime opportunities feature enrichment activities intended to foster excitement and curiosity in younger learners.

That’s where the cupcakes come in. Through a fun and tasty activity, SVCC’s Kids Camp Cupcake Wars provided sessions for children to learn about cake decorating techniques and designs.

The Cupcake Wars launched a series of Kids Camp activities available from SVCC. Other Kids Camp activities on slate for June and July include “Commotion in the Ocean,” a storytelling and painting activity; “SNAP! I’m an Engineer,” through which young people experiment with resistors, capacitors, LEDs and other electronic equipment; and “Lego Robotics,” an activity that enables students to use creativity and problem-solving skills as they design, build and program Lego Mindstorm Robots.

SVCC also partners with Dream It Do It, an initiative formed to introduce students to advanced manufacturing and engineering technologies.

One of this summer’s Dream It Do It camps will provide students who are registered for services under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) an opportunity to receive hands-on experiences with 3D modeling and printing.

Another will focus on robots and drones. During its five days, students will learn to create and program a robot and how to fly a drone and capture video.

In addition to providing first-hand experience with cutting edge technologies, these activities will help students improve their computer skills, participate in brainstorming and decision-making processes and learn to work in teams.

Summertime is also a great time to think about career advancement. Some SVCC students will take a preparation class prior to receiving a Career Readiness Certificate (CRC), a portable credential designed to provide evidence that an individual is ready for work with respect to fundamental standards.

Plumbers, electricians, HVAC mechanics and gas fitters will be taking continuing education classes for tradesmen.

Additionally, for people who need CPR and First Aid training, SVCC offers one-day courses at several locations.

With these and other activities, SVCC is doing its part to help young people and students of all ages maintain active and engaged minds throughout the summer months. I

f you’re interested in knowing more about SVCC’s numerous seated and online classes, please visit the college’s website,

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College. He can be reached via email at