Engaging Local Youngsters Proves Successful at PNW STEAM Camp

By: Purdue University Northwest Last Updated: July 26, 2017

Engaging-Local-Youngsters-Proves-Successful-at-PNW-STEAM-Camp-2017Purdue University Northwest recently hosted a six-week 2017 STEAM Summer Camp at the Westville campus and introduced youngsters, ages 6 to 12, to activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM).

Some 20 to 40 students attended daily camp sessions with up to 120 children spending one morning a week at the campus.

Learning through activities
PNW faculty, staff and local professionals offered age-appropriate learning activities designed to keep the youngsters mentally and physically engaged.

“When I hear the ‘wows’ and see their jaws drop at what they just discovered, I know they’re experiencing the same thrill of discovery that drives all the great scientists and mathematicians, and that feeling is something that I hope they never forget,” commented PNW Associate Professor of Physics Aaron Warren on the impact the camp has on the students.

The daily sessions were filled with educational workshops, field trips and introductions to new academic opportunities.

“Students practiced basic coding skills using robots, iPads, and computers,” said PNW Associate Professor of Education David Pratt. “The hope is that the exposure to the language behind the technology will inspire them to see a potential career path.”

Camp sessions included:

  • “Stars & Planets” taught by PNW Associate Professor of Physics Aaron Warren
  • “Master Builders” presented by Westville Elementary School teacher Stephanie Irk
  • “Building Reconfigurable Cubes” led by artist Michelle Wiser
  • “Cracking the Code!” guided by PNW Associate Professor of Education David Pratt
  • “Be Art Smart” conducted by PNW alumnae Kelly Ramer
  • “Marshmallow Launchers” demonstrated by PNW Academic Advisor Christy Livergood

Participants were enrolled full-time in one of the La Porte County Coalition of Youth Serving Agencies (YSA) of Michigan City, which included Imagination Station, Barker Woods, Safe Harbor and the Boys and Girls Club. The camp was made possible by partial support from a 21st Century Community Learning Center’s grant and a NIPSCO Community Investment grant.

Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW), a comprehensive regional university within the Purdue University system, has two Northwest Indiana campuses in Hammond and Westville. With more than 15,000 students enrolled last fall and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.