Educational Programs

Career Exploration Summer Camps

Learn about MCTC's programs and the careers they prepare you for in our hands-on camps on our beautiful campus in downtown Minneapolis. Taught by MCTC faculty and students, Career Exploration Camps are held in our college classrooms and labs, featuring the latest technology. It’s your opportunity to get a taste of college life and a potential career, while learning new skills and having fun!

All camps meet from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Lunch is included. On Friday afternoon, we’ll have a completion celebration where you can show off the projects you worked on during the week, receive your certificate of completion, and learn how to continue your education and career pursuits. Friends and family are invited to join the celebration!

Tracy Boyle and Nathan Johnson
July 21–25, ages 13+

Architects and designers create all kinds of spaces, from skyscrapers to kitchen remodels, and parks to furnishings. This camp will introduce you to the range of skills and the creative process used by architects and designers. Over the course of the week, you will learn about the design process–from concept to construction–and design a space or object of your own. Working in our professional design labs, you’ll use SketchUp, an easy-to-learn 3D modeling software, to create a model of your design and then present your finished product to the class. To get a taste of the more powerful, industry-standard software tools architects use, you’ll get a demo of Autodesk Revit. We’ll also take a walking tour to an architecturally significant building in downtown Minneapolis as well as visit an architectural office where you’ll be able to ask questions of professional architects and designers.

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Dean Weikle and John Singel
July 28–Aug. 1, ages 14+

A new building isn’t complete until its systems are installed and functioning properly. As construction methods change and we ask more of our buildings, such as alternative energy sources and “smart” technology, building systems must quickly adapt. This camp will introduce you to two important fields within the construction trades: electrical systems and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems (HVACR). You’ll learn the basic concepts of electricity with hands-on projects in simulated wiring booths, using electricians’ hand tools while working on a circuit that you would have in your house. We'll also cover introductory heating and cooling concepts, the basics of building ventilation, and the fundamentals of refrigeration. Next we’ll explore the cutting edge of alternative energy resources: solar power. Studies have projected that solar energy could provide 10% of the nation’s electricity by 2025. Working in our brand-new solar training lab with functional equipment installed on the roof, you’ll learn the basics of solar thermal energy (hot water heating) and solar photovoltaics (converting light into electrical current) from instructors working in the solar industry. We will also discuss career opportunities in this growing, future-focused industry, including the job growth prospects as Minneapolis undertakes major building projects like the new Vikings stadium.

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Peter Katsiotis
July 21–25, ages 13+

Great cooking isn’t just about recipes, it’s about techniques. There are a wide array of exciting career opportunities in the culinary field, but we all have to eat. This camp will teach you those techniques that you’ll be able to use for a lifetime, whether you become the next Food Network star or just enjoy cooking for your family and friends. Working in our professionally-equipped kitchen, led by a professional Chef Instructor, you’ll have fun preparing your own meals each day. We’ll make a number of popular foods from scratch, such as pasta, Alfredo sauce, pizza dough and pizza. You’ll also learn how to make a breakfast dish, BBQ, Caesar salad and dessert. As a final project, you’ll prepare lunch for your fellow campers and dine together in the college’s formal dining room.

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Gregg Kubera
July 28–Aug. 1, ages 13+

Are you a future filmmaker? Do you sometimes imagine your life is a movie? Improve your cinematic skills by making great videos to post on YouTube or other social networking sites. You’ll work with an award-winning member of our Cinema Division to learn the process of production from concept through creation. You’ll start with planning and scripting your concept, take on directing and acting roles, and then learn the techniques necessary to shoot your film. Working in our state-of-the-art labs, you’ll edit it with Adobe Premiere, create titles and special effects using Adobe After Effects and then post it online. Check out the film produced by last year's summer camp crew on YouTube!

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Jack Mader
July 21–July 25, ages 13+

Sharpen your shutterbug skills from capture to print in this hands-on workshop. You will learn about different genres of photography: portraits, product, landscape and street photography while developing photographic skills in composition, light, color and meaning. Technical considerations such as camera operation, lighting, basic digital workflow, editing and output will be addressed. You'll use the same software as professional photographers, including Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw and Photoshop, and print your work in our state-of-the-art photography lab. We’ll also discuss the career opportunities in the photography field with visits from industry professionals. You’ll leave camp with a selection of prints to begin building your own photography portfolio. You are welcome to bring your own digital camera (not camera phone) but we will also have cameras on hand for you to use.

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Samantha Sather
July 28–Aug. 1, ages 13+

Look around you. Almost everything you see has some element of graphic design–products, packaging, books, signs, street art and advertisements. This camp will introduce you to the wide array of possibilities in the graphic design field. Through a series of fun and fast-paced assignments, you'll make design decisions including image manipulation, basic typography, layout, and digital illustration using the Adobe Creative Suite for Mac (Photoshop and Illustrator). You'll get to combine analog and digital techniques by digitally enhancing sketches you create. We’ll also explore and discuss current design trends. By the end of the week, you will have developed a design process and attained a more critical visual vocabulary through experimentation, exploration and group critiques. Bring your ideas for a self-directed project (favorite musicians or artists, any drawings or sketches that you have created) and any dry art materials (sketchbook, colored pencils, markers, scissors, magazines clippings, or photos) for the very first day.

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Mary McKinley, R. EEG T., RPSGT
July 28–Aug. 1, ages 13+

Do you like the idea of a career in healthcare, but you’re a bit on the squeamish side? Guess what? There are many well-paying healthcare careers that are ideal for those who’d rather avoid the “blood and guts” or prefer the technology aspects of healthcare. This camp will introduce you to three of them: polysomnographic (sleep) technologist, electroneurodiagnostic technologist, and nursing assistant/home health aide. Polysomnographic technologists play a key role in the rapidly growing field of sleep disorder research and treatment. They prepare, observe and record patients’ behavior and provide data and recommendations to physicians so patients can receive appropriate therapies. Electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologists apply analytic skills and help diagnose and treat patients with epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumors and other disorders. Nursing assistants and home health aides are essential members of today’s healthcare teams, performing hands-on resident/client care and routine tasks for individuals of various ages and health conditions. Working in MCTC’s state-of-the-art healthcare labs, you’ll explore the work done by each of these important healthcare roles. You’ll have the opportunity to use the high-tech tools used in these fields and complete some studies of your own, including a sleep journal that will help you understand and improve your own sleep patterns. You’ll hear from professionals working in these exciting careers about their daily work and learn how to prepare yourself for in-demand positions in healthcare.

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Eric Level
July 28–Aug. 1, ages 13+

Have you ever told a robot what to do? That's computer programming or coding, and that's what you'll learn in this camp. We'll start with the popular Lego Mindstorms robots, programming them to move around and sense their surroundings. We’ll do this by working on a computer, visually connecting "coding blocks" that each command a robot to do some simple thing (like moving, turning or reading information from the robot's sensors). By assembling these blocks into programs, then downloading them into the robots, we’ll tell the robot how to behave. We’ll also explore other ways of programming, including more traditional coding: writing text programs that control the robots. Next, we'll work with the Scratch programming environment, continuing our journey though programming. Here, we program and control sprites, which are robot-like screen icons that move and interact with other sprites. We'll learn how to make our sprites spin, draw, talk, sing and change appearance – all by building collections of blocks called scripts. We'll even learn how to create Scratch games! The camp ends with a final team project, where you’ll design and create either Lego robot programs or Scratch sprite scripts.

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Ryan Huffman and Mandy Tensen Woolery
July 28–Aug. 1, ages 13+

Web designers create all kinds of websites, from social media, to business, to entertainment. In this camp we’ll explore the many aspects of designing and creating Web pages. You’ll discover the core anatomy of a Web page and how it functions, learn to create and style your own content for a website, and develop a basic understanding of HTML 5 elements and how to implement them. You will learn the principles of effective Web design, as well as practice authoring and troubleshooting HTML code. Using the Adobe Dreamweaver software, you will learn how to build introductory level websites while incorporating Cascading Style Sheets. Upon completion of camp, you’ll have enough experience to explore creating various webpages on your own and an idea about the array of career opportunities in this field.

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Peter Denny
Aug. 4–Aug. 8, ages 14+

Take off on an educational adventure in aviation and aeronautics in this action-packed camp! You’ll be introduced to a variety of careers in this field, including aircraft mechanic, pilot, air traffic controller and unmanned aircraft system (UAS) technician. You’ll learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) using aviation and aerospace as a medium as well as the goals and educational requirements you’ll need to enter this remarkable and expanding industry. We’ll focus on different career paths each day of camp, with a variety of activities and field trips to give you real-world exposure. You will:

  • Hear from both civilian and military pilots and aircrew
  • Tour aircraft facilities such as Wipaire and Delta Air Lines
  • See and experience unmanned aircraft systems (drones) from Northland Community & Technical College
  • Take a flight in a light airplane courtesy of the Experimental Aircraft Associations Young Eagles program
  • Visit an air traffic control tower at a major airport 
  • Learn about the opportunity to log official flight time as a student pilot with an FAA-approved flight school (there is an additional cost for this first “Discovery Flight” flying lesson)

When you’ve finished this camp, you’ll be ready to take flight on a variety of exciting education and career paths, with growing opportunities in Minnesota and across the nation!

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Todd Bridigum
July 21–25, ages 14+

Do you like to play with fire? Do you enjoy building projects? You’ll do both in this camp while exploring the basics of welding in a state-of-the-art shop! You’ll use industrial grade equipment and start by learning safety and the fundamentals of Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG or wirefeed) and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG). You’ll learn how to control the all-important molten puddle of metal and then apply these skills to make creative and useful projects. Steel will be our primary metal, but you may also have the opportunity to weld aluminum and stainless steel. Using the VERTEX 360 virtual reality welding simulator we will see how our eyes and hands work together to make a great weld. Moving into the shop, sparks will fly as we fuse metals together, learning to control the process, making it do what we want. Finally we will use the computer controlled plasma cutter and other fabrication machines to cut and shape metals.

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Registration information

The registration deadline is two weeks prior to the camp start date and space is limited so please register early. If space is available, we will continue to accept registrations after the deadline. Full payment is due at the time of registration.

To register online use the "register now" links at the end of the camp description–when the camp is full these will be removed. A parent or guardian will also need to send us a signed copy of the required waiver prior the start of the camp.

To register by mail complete the registration and waiver forms and send them along with a check for your full payment to:

Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Continuing Education Summer Camps
1501 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

To register by phone call us Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Tuesdays from 8 a.m.–6 p.m. or Fridays from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. at 612-659-6500 with your credit card handy. A parent or guardian will also need to submit a signed copy of the required waiver prior to participating in camp.

After you register

If you register online, you will receive a registration confirmation by email. If you register by mail or phone and provide an email address, you will receive a registration confirmation by email. About one week before camp, we will send all parents or guardians of campers detailed information about location, drop off and pick up, daily schedule, things to bring, etc. If you have a question at any point, we’re here to help–please call 612-659-6500 or email

The MCTC Career Exploration Summer Camps are funded in part by the Carl D. Perkins grant and a grant from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.


As of Friday, July 11, all scholarship funds for the 2014 summer camps have been awarded and are no longer available.


Career Exploration Camps

Summer camps

Teens learn about exciting careers and educational pathways with the MCTC career exploration summer camps!

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This fun movie was the result of hard work by the 13–17 year old students in the Filmmaking Bootcamp during the Career Exploration Summer Camps in 2013. Students wrote the script, handled the equipment and worked on the editing with guidance from a Cinema faculty member. 

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