Listening to Pierre Perret, summer camps haven’t always been as fulfilling places as we’d like to believe. But before that, at least they let the kids catch some air.
This summer in Los Angeles, kids ages 5-17 are attending the third edition of Crypto Kids Camp, a vacation camp where they learn all about artificial intelligence, NFTs, and virtual reality. Vox has deciphered this new thriving but also controversial American business.
These camps are part of a burgeoning new industry of start-ups producing Web 3.0 educational content for children, sometimes before they can even read. Najah Roberts, the creator of the residency, explains that the goal is to narrow the gap between the privileged children and the rest. “It’s important to show them all the possibilities that exist, She says. They can be told that there is work to be done in technology, but when they can actually see and use these platforms, then their minds open.
The price for the stay? $500 for a week (465 euros). But there are scholarships for children from simple families. The little ones participate in activities for a week and can walk with a computer, drone, robot, VR headset and phone with a cryptocurrency wallet.
Children are the future
Other types of formulas for children are offered. Zak Ringelstein, the founder of Zigazoo, a sort of TikTok for 3-12 year olds that posts NFT collaborations, says: “We try to teach children the basics of finance and digitization to encourage them to create their own art forms and build the future of the internet.” There are also virtual cryptocurrency piggy banks for kids like Piggy Banks, educational YouTube videos, and books with titles like C for cryptocurrency.
These initiatives, which appear to spring from a desire to prepare young people for an increasingly dematerialized future, are not unanimous. Some question the stability of this type of investment and worry that children are taking too much risk.
For Joyce Sidero, a University of Minnesota professor who studies financial behavior in families, it’s important to educate children about money as early as possible. But she believes cryptocurrency is still too unstable a system for younger people to understand.
For his part, a teacher who asked to remain anonymous offers his tip on spotting a kid touching Kryptos: “When he starts flattering Elon Musk, it’s usually because he’s interested in the subject.”
Joyce Sidero says she is very impressed “the ease with which young children deal with these new technologies”. However, he points out a difficulty: “Our mission is to help them navigate a world they will inherit but we will not understand and will not see.”