Innovative Curriculum + Amazing Collaborations = AWESOME Experiences!

SWVA Can Code is a program that encourages 5th to 12th graders to create and develop web applications that aim to solve important problems or take advantage of opportunities within their communities. This regional initiative provides an opportunity for young students to engage in the process of designing and prototyping these apps. By participating in this program, students are able to contribute to their communities and make a positive impact through technology. The program focuses on empowering students to identify challenges or opportunities in their communities and finding innovative solutions through coding. SWVA Can Code not only provides valuable skills in web development but also fosters creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration among young minds.

SWVA Can Code is the result of an amazing collaboration between regional school divisions, Apple Education, local business and industry partners, and The University of Virginia's College at Wise. The idea was simple. Give all students access to a fun, engaging camp experience where they learn to code, problem solve, identify challenges or opportunities within their local area, brainstorm, and dream up ways to help them create a web app design that supports their ideas.

The results yielded more than an impressive list of web app prototypes. We saw students work together, collaborating and communicating in ways that amazed their camp leaders, school administrators, and even their parents! We found out about things they were passionate about. We saw their confidence build as they braved audiences both big and small and proudly discussed their apps. We saw proud smiles because together we had done something hard. My philosophy has become, "We can do hard things, then we can do other hard things until the hard things are not so hard anymore and then we can do anything!"

Heather B. Askea
Project Lead

Equity is a key element of this initiative. To ensure all students have access, all SWVA Can Code camps are FREE for all students, and some division partners also assist with transportation and meals for campers.

The SWVA Can Code Experience

  • Camps are divided into two divisions one for rising 5-8th graders and for rising 9-12th graders.

  • Camps utilize Apple's SWIFT Program and Everyone Can Code curriculum.

  • Camps are very hands-on and collaboration is encouraged.

  • Campers learn to code, problem-solve, collaborate, and communicate their ideas.

  • Camps are hosted at local schools or through one of the Higher Education or Community partner institutions.

  • Camps range from 1-4 weeks in length with 24-36 hours of total instruction.

  • Camps are FREE for all students.

  • Each camp has a showcase as the culminating event where community members will provide feedback on app designs.

Educator Support & Training

Training and support for camp instructional staff is provided for free to any participating school or organization.

  • Each participating camp location has trained camp leaders and instructional staff.

  • Camp staff train both virtually and on site for a minimum of 10 hours but many have invested much more time developing their knowledge of SWIFT Playgrounds and other needed applications.

  • Camp staffing ratios are lower than traditional classrooms with a 1:15 max ratio. This helps to ensure that camp instructors can guide students through the camp experience properly.

  • Camp leaders work with seasoned Apple Professional Learning specialists to build a customized camp experience that supports the needs of their students.

Planning &
Tech Support

SWIFT logo
SWIFT logo

Participating schools and organizations have access to ongoing planning and technical support.

  • Camp leaders work with seasoned Apple Professional Learning specialists to build a customized camp experience that supports the needs of their students.

  • Camp leaders may attend monthly meetings to share ideas and gain insights on ensuring they have the best plan possible.

  • Tech departments may attend the Technical Prep meeting hosted by Apple Education engineers and the project leader.

  • In some cases, UVAWISE's STREAMWISE program may be able to provide additional student devices as available.