HIGH POINT, N.C., June 29, 2017 – Isaiah Peele isn’t usually a morning person when he’s out of school for the summer. But today, the day he finally got to launch the rocket he built at High Point University’s STEM Camp, he didn’t mind.
After two weeks of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Camp, hosted by HPU’s Stout School of Education, children lined up for a chance to launch their rockets in front of their families – the highlight of the camp’s final day.
Peele launched his rocket, something he’s been looking forward to since he built it last Monday, and then ran back to meet his newest friend, Lewis Biesecker.
“I had a lot of favorite times at the camp,” said Peele. “One of them was making ice cream and the Lego Robotics.”
“We didn’t know each other before the camp, but now we’re friends because we were partners for the Lego challenges,” said Biesecker. “We built a robot helicopter with chains hanging down to pick up stuff.”
Peele and Biesecker were two of over 80 community children enrolled in HPU’s third consecutive STEM Camp. The camp, led by HPU faculty and students, introduces children to STEM concepts through various experiments each day.
Wes Vaughn watched the rocket launch from seating in Cottrell Ampitheater. His two children, Drew and Rachel Vaughn, were next in line to launch their rockets.
“It’s been great for them,” he said. “They’ve come home happy every day, excited to tell us what they did. We’re always looking for something different and fun for them to do in the summer. The rocket launch has definitely been the big thing. They built the rockets on their first day and have been talking about it ever since.”
The final day of camp also included a chemistry and physics show put on by a “Mad Scientist” and rocket pops from the HPU ice cream truck to celebrate the launch.
“I’ve loved it,” said HPU graduate student and STEM Camp leader Maranda Swift. “I had never heard of teaching STEM concepts until I came to HPU, and now it’s great to see the kids’ excitement to learn. I’d like to think that their excitement stems from ours, because we kicked off the program excited to teach and be here with them.”