Virtual Victory: HPU’s Sixth Annual STEM Camp Kicks Off

HPU’s summer STEM camp is held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and today marked the start of the first of two sessions. Whitley Davis (left) and Aubrey May Davis (right) began HPU’s summer STEM camp today.


Dr. Shirley Disseler, STEM coordinator in High Point University’s Stout School of Education, packed 150 boxes of experiments to ship to the participating children for this year’s “STEM Camp in a Box” virtual summer camp.

HIGH POINT, N.C., Date, 2020 – Instead of having packed laboratories with excited children ready to start a STEM activity in High Point University’s Stout School of Education, the experiments were delivered to them for the sixth annual STEM Camp.

Creatively titled, “STEM Camp in a Box: Building Dreams and Building Minds,” HPU’s summer STEM camp went virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“STEM education is so important, and we were determined to bring these fun activities to the children despite the impacts of COVID-19,” said Dr. Shirley Disseler, STEM coordinator at HPU’s Stout School of Education. “We spent a lot of time packing big cardboard boxes full of materials so that these kids could have STEM activities this summer.”

Today began the start of the first session, which runs through July 2. Disseler successfully registered 150 children for this session, an overwhelming response, which allowed her to add a second session in July.

“Parents have really embraced the concept, and we are excited to have the opportunity to offer a second virtual camp,” said Disseler. “It is exciting to see people getting creative about how we help kids learn STEM during these challenging times.”

Michele Davis is the mom of Whitley and Aubrey May, who are participating in this year’s virtual camp.

Each participant in this year’s virtual summer STEM camp received a t-shirt and age-appropriate materials for 20 activities.

“My girls are so thrilled that Dr. Disseler’s energetic staff and students have gone to great lengths to plan a ‘STEM Camp in a Box’ with activities and video explanations,” said Davis. “So many of my daughter’s sports activities and other camps were canceled all together. HPU’s education majors always bring an element of fun that creates a memory for the kids, which means they learn a STEM-related skill in an effortless way.”

The Davis family has participated in the camp since its inception and are excited to continue their beloved summer tradition.

“We were so glad that this camp has become a summer tradition for our girls,” said Davis. “We hope their involvement with HPU’s Stout School of Education, and the other departments they have visited on campus, will give them a level of comfort on a university’s campus. Maybe one day they could even be a student at High Point University!”

The camp is open for children in grades K through 6. This year, each participant received age-appropriate materials for 20 activities, a T-shirt, a lab coat, goggles and information to access videos and “how-to” tutorials in their box. Each year, the summer camp culminates with a rocket launch. Participants received materials to build a rocket and will be invited back to HPU’s campus in the fall for a launch.

The second session of “STEM Camp in a Box” will be held virtually from July 20 through July 31. Registration is full for the July session. HPU’s “STEM Camp in a Box” materials were made possible through a generous gift from the Earl and Kathryn Congdon Family Foundation. The College Prep and Leadership Academy partnered with HPU this summer to receive more than 90 boxes for their students to participate.

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