FLEMINGSBURG — Children off from school saw no lull in activities this week as the Student STEM Camp kept them busy, but not too busy to have fun.
The Student STEM Camp was held at Simons Middle School in Fleming County from Monday through Thursday. Children, grades 3-8, participated in activities that involved science, technology, engineering and mathematics that were both entertaining and informative. Mendy High, Youth Service Center coordinator for Fleming County Schools, said students were having plenty of fun, while also building interest in STEM principles.
“We’ve just had a really, really good time trying to incorporate learning in the summer through a lot of science activities,” she said.
This camp marks the second annual Student STEM Camp for the district. Mendy, along with other members of the Family Resource Youth Service Center, planned the camp for students. Activities ranged from building rockets launched with compressed air to working with state highway engineers to build model bridges and testing them with weight.
“The important thing that we’re also doing is trying to teach the kids the science behind the experiments,” High said. “We learned last year we just had a lot of fun, the kids had a great time, but we wanted to go this year a little deeper into the science.”
About 85-90 kids attended, according to High. She said the camp was a great way to get children out and motivated mentally as well as physically during summer break.
“This gives them a supervised area where they’re learning something fun, they’re with a caring adult,” High said. “We’re trying to create opportunities for them in the summer, so that kids can have a really good time and continue to support our schools by continuing their educational experience.”
Jordyn Simmons, starting the fifth grade in the fall, said she really enjoyed the camp and the most interesting thing she learned was about chemical and physical reactions.
“We did a lot of fun stuff,” Simmons said. “The first day we did tie dye shirts, I think that was the most fun part, and we did straw rockets and we’re going to do stomp rockets today.”
Science is one of the most important subjects to teach children in schools, according to Paul King, science teacher at Simons Middle School. King is glad to see an opportunity to educate students with the essential principles of scientific reasoning.
“All of your critical thinking is done in your science classes,” King said. “One of those things that kind of goes on the wayside is everybody is putting efforts on math, everybody’s putting effort on English, and science is probably one of the more important critical thinking steps that you can get at an early age.”
The camp concluded Thursday, with students spending the day at Double S Entertainment’s bowling alley. While bowling, the children were shown the hidden mechanics in motion that resets pins and retrieves bowling balls. A hands-on experience for a hands-on camp.
“Having this allows them to come in here and get hands-on stuff, play with rockets, actually build things and get a better understanding of how things work,” King said.