Sterling Heights gives Velocity Jr. camps a boost

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published July 14, 2015


STERLING HEIGHTS — The Velocity Jr. summer camp program is showing no signs of decelerating anytime soon, according to city and school officials.

At a July 7 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool said the city is continuing its public-private partnership with Utica Community Schools and the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Foundation in promoting Velocity Jr., which is based in Sterling Heights. The city formally jumped on board with the idea in 2012.

Vanderpool said some of the camps and their activities are continuing throughout July and August.

“If you haven’t signed up, you can go on our website and see a list of the programming,” he said. “And you can go on Utica Community Schools’ website, for that matter.”

According to Vanderpool, the Velocity Jr. program runs during the summer and winter recesses in order to keep students interested in STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In addition, some camp activities emphasize the arts.

This summer, the camp program is offering “34 fun-filled, hands-on, innovative programs,” Vanderpool said.

“We’re excited that the program is going on and flourishing,” he said.

A sampling of the camps’ subjects touches on aviation, robotics, video game design, comic books, computer programming, animation, filmmaking, vehicle design, spy gear, chess, dinosaurs, X-rays and more. Some of the camps feature the video game “Minecraft” and toy brands like Lego and K’nex.

Organizers say children who are of elementary or middle school age may apply for camps geared toward their age range. Campers may apply regardless of whether they are from within or outside the Utica Community Schools district. Depending on the activity, camp admission ranges from $99 to $198 per weeklong course, according to a registration form.

In an emailed statement, UCS Superintendent Christine Johns explained that Velocity Jr. shows how collaborative efforts that are directed toward students can affect the future vitality of the community.

“This partnership creates important links between our students and the careers of the future, and it promotes an entrepreneurial spirit that will be so important to their success,” she said.

The Velocity Jr. summer camp program takes place at the Rose Kidd Velocity Jr. Center, 38397 Gladstone Drive in Sterling Heights. Learn more about the program by visiting or by calling (586) 797-6900. Learn more about camp daycare options by calling (586) 797-6980.