HIGH POINT, N.C., June 30, 2016 – Children in the community have spent the past nine days engaged in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities through High Point University’s second STEM Camp hosted by the School of Education.
HPU faculty and students led activities such as Lego robotics, rocket building, mine craft mazes and more, to put the children’s creativity to the test and teach them a different approach to learning.
“When children are engaged in creative thought and conversation, it leads to a more motivated mindset which in turn leads to growth academically,” said Dr. Shirley Disseler, associate professor of education at HPU who created the STEM Camp. “We are engaging young minds through exploration with STEM concepts and leading them to discuss high level ideas. These children were motivated every day and excited for a challenge.”
As the camp wrapped up today, students launched rockets they created, and a “Mad Scientist,” from madscience.org, made an appearance to host a chemistry and physics show for the children.
“I had such a great time at STEM Camp,” said Claire Hue, STEM Camp participant. “This is my first time participating in the camp and I have learned a lot more about science and math. I am going to tell all of my friends at school about this and will definitely be back again next year.”
“It has been great to see these students grow throughout the camp,” said education graduate student Christen Cothran. “We have found that throughout the camp the children began working a lot better in a group setting and learned to work as a team. The children have adapted very well working together and have learned how to play a certain role on a team when looking to complete a task. In the HPU School of Education we get a lot of hands-on experience, but this is taking it to the next level. I have loved working with these children each day. It has been an awesome experience and can’t wait to see this camp continue to grow.”
Dr. Tess Hegedus, assistant professor of education at HPU, co-hosted the STEM Camp with Disseler.
HPU hosts Lego field trips for local schoolchildren throughout the year. The university also holds community Lego days as well as Lego teacher academies. During these events, thousands of children, teachers and community members visit campus for a hands-on, fun experience that promotes teamwork, creativity and exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The events also help undergraduate and graduate students in the HPU School of Education gain valuable experience and feedback in teaching techniques and classroom management.
Disseler recently published the first title in a 10-book series aimed at helping teachers and parents teach math in an engaging and accessible way. The Brick Math Series, published by Brigantine Media’s Compass Publishing, uses a common toy, Lego bricks, to teach math basics for students in elementary and middle grades.
In addition to her role as chair of the Department of Elementary and Middle Grades Education and the STEM Coordinator for the BA to M.Ed. Program in HPU’s School of Education, Disseler is also a Master Trainer for Lego Education and has assisted in the development and testing of several Lego Education products.