CEISMC Camps Keep Burch Busy Year Round

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Summer camps. Most of us only think about them when it’s time to sign the kids up. But not Andrew Burch — he thinks about summer camps all year long.

That’s because Burch oversees Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) summer camps for kids.

“I love seeing kids who weren’t even thinking about coming to college attend one of our camps and get to do something like build a robot to push a ball,” said Burch, who is education outreach manager. “By the end of the week, they’re talking about coming to Georgia Tech. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job.”

Burch, who earned his bachelor’s in 2008 from what is now Scheller College of Business, started his career working for Guided Discoveries, a nonprofit educational organization that specializes in astronomy, physics, and outdoor education field trips and summer camps in California.

“I worked with kids who were in the fourth through ninth grade, teaching them about everything from astronomy to mountain biking,” he said.

After working at Guided Discoveries for three years, he randomly came across the opening for his current position and applied.

“How could I not apply?” Burch said. “I’m from Macon and went to Tech, so moving back to Atlanta was like coming home.”

Read on to learn more about Burch and his time at Tech.

What did you want to be when you were a child?
It changed regularly. First it was an astronaut, then the president, then a fireman, and after one particular incident with my brother and a face plant on the pavement, a plastic surgeon.

Tell us about the CEISMC summer camps.
We offer 28 programs, with some being based in the College of Sciences (which is where CEISMC is based) and others being led by colleges and schools across campus. Camp themes range from game development to designing buildings. Most camps last for a week (with some being offered multiple times throughout the summer) and cater to students ranging from elementary to high school. There are about 20-25 students enrolled in each camp.

What’s an average day in your job like?
I am coordinating with people across campus to figure out the logistics — which includes everything from approving new camps to figuring out where participants will eat lunch every day. I also field a lot of calls and emails from parents with questions.

What is one professional accomplishment you’re most proud of?
Actually, I have two. The first is growing the CEISMC programs. When I started, we were serving about 800 students. Now, that number has increased to about 1,800. Also, we’ve been able to increase the amount of financial aid we can offer to families who might not be able to pay the camp tuition. Last year, we were able to offer about 80 scholarships.

If someone would like to submit a camp topic, how would they go about it?
If you’d like to suggest a camp focus related to your field, just reach out to me. I’m always looking for ideas from students, faculty, and staff. We love being able to tie in research being done at Tech to programs for kids to see. The key is that if you want to be involved in one of the CEISMC programs, you need to be able to communicate the information — as technical as it may be — to anyone from college age to elementary school age.

Where is your favorite spot on campus?
The Clough Commons rooftop garden, this is such a neat green space. The kids are always amazed that there are a bunch of trees up there.

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Bill Murray, because he would have to have some amazing stories. I imagine it would turn into quite the entertaining experience.

What is the greatest risk you ever took?
Not going to work at a financial planning firm and going to California to accept the Guided Discoveries job instead. And I think I’m a lot happier for it.

Where is your favorite place to eat lunch?
Ray’s New York Pizza. Try the buffalo chicken salad — I actually influenced its creation, the old manager joked about naming it after me.

Tell us something unique about yourself.
I ran my first marathon in November and am now working to qualify for the Boston Marathon.



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Michael Hagearty
  • Created:04/14/2014
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016