Week 2 off to a Somewhat Rainy, but Awesome Kick Off!

Wow! What a great first day everyone had…it rained at just the right moments…when all the students were where they needed to be! We are very excited to welcome 122 campers for week 2 this year! Although they were a bit quiet and timid this morning, we got them engaged right away and they are already coming out of their shells! Thanks so much for everyone’s assistance and patience this morning as we got all campers checked in!

Just a note about the consent and assent forms that we ask for every year. Our camp is subsidized by an NSF grant that requires research and reporting to the agency.  The purpose of the research is to develop a camp model that promotes STEM careers to students and can be replicated. We also look at students attitudes towards STEM and the impact of our activities. Without this grant and consent and assent to participate the camp simply would not exist. We never report any names or any individual data…it’s always aggregated together! You can read about some of our work here.

We have a goal to post a blog post each night this week with some highlights from the day and some conversation starters. [Admittedly, our family obligations have been great this summer, so I fell off the bandwagon last week 🙂 ] The conversation starters are meant to help you get over the “What did you learn today?” “Nothin’” or <shrugging the shoulders> we often see with our school-age students. We’ll also post a link to the photos we are taking throughout the week. If at any time you want a photo removed that is of your child, please let us know and we’ll be happy to take it down.

Please make sure and check twitter throughout the day this week – https://twitter.com/SeeBlueSTEMCamp – we’ll post more pictures and updates throughout the day the rest of the week.

Red/Blue Groups

They spent half their day with Dr. Bruce Walcott, exploring the engineering complex, touring labs, learning how to build motors, and investigating surface area and mass. The students were amazed at all the different labs, but by far their favorite was the anechoic chamber! Many of the students also did not realize all the different types of engineers you can be…so many fields and so many opportunities!

Yellow/Green Groups

They spent half their day with Dr. Lisa Amick, building 3d models with 3d pens and paper folding! The students really enjoyed the challenge of the origami. It was fun to learn about how to fold the paper in different ways and to put the nets together to form the 3d shapes. 3d pens are always a big hit every year. Not only do they help students build their own models, they also tap into their creative side. They take a lot of pride and ownership in their creations! We love seeing the uniqueness of the students come out!

Robotics for all groups

Day 1 is building day. All the students are doing EV3 robots this year. Today they focused on building their robots and learning about how the different parts and pieces work together. Tomorrow they will dive into the programming and start some of our challenges. For the challenges, we use a blend of our own curriculum our robotics instructors have created and some of the FLL challenges, including the new one for this year.

In their words…

Each day we’ll post some excerpts from the students’ reflections of what they learned each day at the STEM Content session. We don’t correct for spelling or grammar in these 🙂

  • I learned that civil engenreing was a thing
  • I learned that shapes can absorb sound.
  • How engieneers think to solve problems.
  • I didn’t know that 3-D pens existed
  • That a tetrahedron is made of triangles
  • Small shapes can make up very large shapes and I found that very fascinating.
  • I liked that we got to work in groups and how we learned in fun but productive ways.
  • geometry is all around us and I  want to learn more about my surroundings.

Conversation Starters… 

We know your child is getting to the age where it might be like pulling teeth to get them to talk about their day beyond “It was fine.” “It was fun.” “I didn’t do anything.” So, each day we’ll post some suggested conversation starters centered on camp activities or STEM-related themes.

Blue/Red Groups

  • Tell me about your plan for your boat you assembled today? What did you take into consideration? Did you change your plan at all?
  • What was your favorite part of the engineering tour? What did you learn about engineers today that you did not know before?
  • Tell me about how you assembled your robot. What is your robot’s name? What do you think you will get your robot to do when you start programming it?

Yellow/Green Groups

  • What shapes did you use to put together your big origami shape? How did you know how to fit the pieces together?
  • What did you create with your 3d pen?
  • Tell me about how you assembled your robot. What is your robot’s name?What do you think you will get your robot to do when you start programming it?

Photo of the Day…

Each day we’ll post a camp highlight.  Click the picture and it will take you to the weekly photo album. Please note that we try to capture pictures of all the campers, but we cannot guarantee that we will get every single one. We try our very best to though! Also we are STEM teachers and not full time photographers, so our pictures are not perfect and we leave them unedited, so if you love to edit photos…feel free! If there is a photo you wish to have removed, please email me and we’ll take it down!

<Stayed tuned…we’re having issues uploading pictures today>

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