Summer campers explore STEM at CTC
by Cheree Dye
Jul 19, 2014 | 2117 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Engineering for Kids
Roger Brown attaches a propeller to his boat during the Engineering For Kids class at Chattahoochee Technical College. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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This week at Chattahoochee Technical College children from the surrounding area participated in Engineering for Kids Summer Camp. The camp, which divided into morning and afternoon sessions, explored STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — concepts.

In partnership with Engineering for Kids, Chattahoochee Technical College began hosting Summer Solutions Camps for rising fourth through rising ninth graders at its Marietta and North Metro campuses. The students used critical thinking along with creativity to explore concepts often overlooked in the past but that are now rising to the forefront of education.

The morning session campers spent the week in Survivor’s Cove. Students built their own flashlights, parachutes and boats while learning the correlating scientific principles behind each one. The participants, who were stranded on Survivor’s Cove, were split into two tribes for the week — The Survivor Spiders and the Giant Potatoes. The teams competed to create the most effective equipment while having fun and learning from each other.

Maurice Reid leads Engineering for Kids summer camps throughout the metro Atlanta area. Reid said, “The camp integrates many STEM concepts along with maintaining a focus on socialization. A lot of our children nowadays have socialization issues because of lack of interaction with parents. Parents are very busy working so children are isolated many times by technology and video games. We encourage socialization by brainstorming ideas together, design improvement and forcing them to look at someone’s idea.

“It is good for them to look at the way others think differently but still produce a similar outcome. Instead of just being cookie cutter and doing exactly what the teacher says they are required to use the engineering principles: ask, brainstorm, task, build, design and improve.

One of the concepts stressed by Reid is the unrealistic expectation of perfection. He encouraged the children to understand perfection is unattainable and to learn to not be intimated during the trial and error process.

“The goal is to make this a competitive process; it is a competitive world. We also keep it fun and not so much that they shut down,” Reid said.

The afternoon session of the camp at the North Metro Campus included a program on video game design. Video Game Design: Invader Defense allowed students to create their own video game. Whether they are firing marshmallows or missiles, participants built a complete game from start to finish that they took home on a flash drive.

“I’m excited about the camps because this is what it’s all about: bridging that gap between the communities we serve and our institution,” Raushanah Butler, CTC coordinator, said. “With our high schools offering S.T.E.M. Magnet programs and our elementary and middle schools integrating these components into everyday curriculum, it is vital that we do our part in ensuring that we continue the momentum that has been built up over the school year.”

Rebecca Long, CTC representative, said in a written statement, “Another camp week is scheduled for July 28 through Aug. 1 and will take place at the Marietta Campus of Chattahoochee Technical College. The morning session will include Momentum Madness where students will focus on how fast an object can go without compromising safety. Students in this camp will work with their pit crew to design and build vehicles such as dragsters and hovering levitrons.

“The afternoon session of this week-long camp will also have a race theme as students can participate in Video Game Design: Racing Games. Students create their own video games by designing a racetrack, race cars and an environment for the competition. At the end of the camp, students take home a copy of the game they created.”

For more information about these camp sessions, visit http://aceweb.chattahoocheetech.edu/wconnect/ShowSchedule.awp or call 770-648-5437.