Over the past week, young minds of Ardmore have had the chance to try their hand at math and science.
Oklahoma State University has provided a science, technology, engineering and math camp for students at Charles Evans Elementary, hoping to pique the interest of the young minds in the area.
The STEM camp started last year and made its way to Ardmore for the first time this summer. OSU travels to different cities throughout the state during the summer to help expand young children’s minds.
OSU STEM camp facilitator Wendy Johnson has loved seeing the students involved at the camp get excited about the activities.
“This is an engineering adventure camp, in hopes to spark an interest in engineering,” Johnson said. “They have done activities like building bottle rockets and shooting them off.”
Each day of the week was designed for different scientific activities. The first day was circuit day, then general science followed by Earth and space day.
On circuit day, the students were instructed to make a potato that could conduct electricity and power a light bulb. On general science day, the students created slime and on space day they created rockets and fired them in the air.
The camp is operated by interns from OSU that are majoring in different science and engineering programs at their schools.
One of the things the counselors have been most impressed by is the participants’ ability to grasp concepts and learn to do things in higher levels of STEM.
“I would ask them questions about what they learned and they retained a lot of the information,” Kait Lane, an OSU STEM counselor, said. “It is like higher up STEM concepts they learned and absorbed.”
The older kids built rollercoasters for marbles, and showed them off at graduation on Friday, impressing the counselors with questions on how to build momentum and gravity.
“A lot of the kids were saying this is their first time seeing a lot of this stuff,” Allie Whitsell, OSU STEM counselor, said. “So they are really interested.”
Members of the Goddard Foundation sponsored the event, as they wanted to bring a STEM camp to Ardmore, Johnson said. Kids were given applications throughout the school year.
In total, 38 kids participated in the camp over the last week. With the success of this year’s camp, Johnson hopes to be back next year to help continue to grow kids interest in math and science.
“It is teaching them that engineering isn’t just the nerdy stuff,” Johnson said. “Everything in life has a little bit of engineering.