Area Youth Participate in STEAM Summer Camp at PNC, 2015

By: Purdue University Northwest Last Updated: July 2, 2015

PNC-STEAM-CAMP-photo-2015Purdue University North Central is hosting a six-week STEAM Summer Camp at PNC, 2015 for area young people at its Westville campus. The camp is in progress and will run through July 24. It emphasizes activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) disciplines and introduces students to the university campus as they take part in age-appropriate learning with PNC faculty, staff and local professionals as their instructors.

The young people, ages six to 12, are enrolled in one of the La Porte County Coalition of Youth Serving Agencies (YSA) of Michigan City including Imagination Station, Barker Woods, Boys and Girls Club, Michigan City Parks and Recreation, Safe Harbor and North Central Community Action Agencies (NCCAA). The camp sponsors are the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant and NIPSCO.

Indoor and outdoor activities keep these youth mentally and physically engaged for their time on campus with about 40 students coming to camp each day and up to 200 children spending one morning a week at PNC for six weeks. During the remaining hours, they will participate in activities offered by their youth programs.

The camp learning activities include:

“The Concept of Matter” led by Debra Pratt, PNC continuing lecturer of education. Campers will learn about the properties of objects. All objects have properties of color, size and shape and can be identified by their properties. Using different types of balls, students will be asked to describe, record and measure the different physical properties of balls to determine their differences and similarities. Students will learn how these observations can be applied and used every day.

“Art and Math” with noted artist Michelle Wiser, who will explain how mathematical ideas influence art through a hands-on learning experience. Students will make a tessellation, or tiling. Tessellations are created using the shape of an equilateral triangle, square or regular hexagon, over and over again to cover a space without any gaps or overlaps. Making tessellations combines the creativity of art with the challenge of solving a puzzle. Campers will make cat head tessellations.

"Pollination and Pollinators" presented by the Potawatomi Audubon Society. The program will teach students about the plant pollination process. They will become familiar with different kinds of pollinators: native bees, non-native honeybees, beetles, flies, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds and bats. They will learn that about 75 percent of flowering plants rely on animals for pollination. The students will learn that a variety of native plants and pollinators is necessary to provide the things people need to live. Each student will take home a copy of the Audubon Adventures magazine, “Zip! Hover! Zoom!”

“Science is Everywhere!” with Dr. Aaron Warren, PNC associate professor of Physics, who will lead the exploration of some of the ideas and patterns that predict the behavior of skateboarders, rocket ships, electric circuits and beyond. A series of exciting demonstrations will illustrate how surprising and how understandable the universe can be. Students will use computer simulators to work with ideas such as energy, momentum and electromagnetic forces in these various settings and discuss how these concepts shape their everyday world.

“Geology Rocks: Dig into our ever-changing Earth!” presented by Stephanie Irk, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University and teaches at Westville elementary School. Students will become geologists as they learn the basics of geology through hands-on experiments and activities, exploring the three different rock groups through some edible activities as well as some actual experiments on rocks. Campers were asked to bring in an interesting rock that they’ve discovered and use their new geology research skills on it.

“Who Done It? A Crime Lab with Charles A. Steele, PNC and Purdue Calumet Limited Term Lecturer in Physics and president of Aneval Inc. After hearing the story of a break-in, the youngsters will collect and analyze evidence to determine which of three suspects (if any) the thief is. To solve the crime, the campers will evaluate the crime scene, record it and decide what to collect and process. They will look at tools which may have been used, evaluate them and make clay impressions to see which could have made a mark left at the scene. They will study and examine fingerprints, glass and bite mark evidence. Based on what they gather, each group will present a theory of the case.

Enrollment for this camp session is closed. Only children enrolled in one of the youth-serving agencies camps may participate in STEAM Summer Camp at PNC 2015. Further information can be obtained by contacting Liz Bernel, PNC coordinator of Special Events and Marketing at __________ ext. 5719 or ebernel@pnc.edu. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Bernel.