HIGH POINT, N.C., June 18, 2018 – When 9-year-old Savannah McDowell received her white lab coat today at High Point University’s STEM Camp, she knew exactly what to write on it: Professor McDowell.
“I want to be some sort of science teacher when I grow up,” says McDowell, a Southwest Elementary School student. “My STEM teacher at school suggested I come to this camp, and I really wanted to since I like what we do in class.”
Receiving lab coats set the tone for 120 local children participating in the camp for the next two weeks. Today, they decorated their lab coats and built rockets. Through June 28, they’ll focus on a variety of experiments such as making slime and learning about earthquakes, gravity, energy and forensics. At their grand finale on June 28, they’ll launch their rockets and experience a physics and chemistry show from a “mad scientist” from madscience.org.
“This camp is about teaching students how to embrace science, technology, engineering and math in a fun way,” says Dr. Shirley Disseler, associate professor in HPU’s Stout School of Education who’s organized the camp for four consecutive years. “I’ve always said that you can’t learn without laughing. Laughter leads to creativity. Creativity leads to engagement. Engagement leads to motivation. And motivation leads to learning. If you can’t laugh, then you can’t learn. We want our children to enjoy this process of embracing STEM concepts.”
It was McDowell’s first time at the camp, but Nyla Moss, a 9-year-old who lives in High Point, returned for the second summer in a row.
“I get to do a lot of exciting things at this camp like programming robots to move through a maze,” said Moss. “It’s a great place to learn a lot of things on your summer vacation, and I love it here.”
Joss McKay, a student at Lincoln Academy in Greensboro, shared the excitement.
“Wearing my lab coat makes me feel like I’m a real scientist because that’s what they wear,” McKay said. “I’m really looking forward to making slime. I like experimenting and figuring out how to make things like that.”
The camp runs daily from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Stout School of Education on HPU’s campus.