Participants of the fifth annual STEM Camp, led by professors and students in HPU’s Stout School of Education, launch rockets during a finale event today.
HIGH POINT, N.C., June 27, 2019 – High Point University’s fifth annual STEM Camp ended with a blast today. Children in lab coats and goggles pointed to the sky with one hand and shielded their eyes with the other while watching their rockets climb toward the bright sun.
“I see it, I see it!” shouted excited 12-year-old Abby Tarara, who has attended the camp every year. “I think the parachute is coming out. I hope we can go and find it later.”
For the grand finale nearly 100 community children who have been on campus for the past two weeks lined up for a rocket launch in front of their families in Cottrell Amphitheater.
“It was hot, but it was fun,” said Guffy Baxter, a seventh-grader from High Point. “You don’t know whether it’s going to work or not. The first time my rocket didn’t go off and I was questioning why. The second time it went off. I was happier about that.”
“We launched the rockets we built the first day,” said Ayaam Ghimire, an 11-year-old from High Point who returned to the camp for the second year. “Last year my rocket failed, but this year I paid attention and made sure I followed the directions in the right order. It went better than expected. It was fun!”
HPU’s Stout School of Education hosts the camp each summer to introduce children to science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts through fun activities. In addition to building rockets, participants learned about topics like solar energy and optics. Pharmacy, physician assistant, biology and game design faculty also helped with the camp to give the children experience with a full variety of STEM concepts.
“I’ve learned a lot, but today was my favorite day,” said 11-year-old James Currin from High Point. “It had a science show, popsicles and rockets launching. Mine spiraled away, and I think the parachute burned up from the TNT and dynamite.”
Education graduate students in HPU’s fifth-year BA to M.Ed. program help create and lead the lessons for children ages 8-12. Brianna Beard, who recently finished her undergraduate degree at HPU and is now in the graduate program, was impressed by the fifth- and sixth-graders in her group.
“They came here ready to learn and super excited,” said Beard. “The back and forth conversations with them helped me prepare for the classroom because kids ask a lot of questions – that’s part of teaching. It was great to be able to have a dialogue with them about STEM as a discipline and about careers they can choose.”
Lilly Stratton, an 11-year-old from Archdale, said her rocket shot off backwards rather than going straight up, but she still counted it as a success.
“It felt good like I accomplished something,” she said. “I definitely think that parents should let their kids come here because it’s a really fun camp.”