Electronics and technology are the way of the future. President Obama has already declared June 17 the National Day of Making, a day celebrating the “democratization of technology.” In addition, Google has donated millions toward teaching girls how to code; including coding classes within junior high curriculum have been thoroughly discussed, but camp STEM is one of the first to actively begin teaching our youth.
camp STEM is committed to demonstrating how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) can be applied in the real world. Held at the Middle State Tennessee University campus, this non-profit summer camp showcases a different field of study each week. Kids are given access to everything the campus has to offer: they visit the Murfreesboro Airport, the Voorhees Engineering Building, Uranidrome, and the Mineral, Gem, and Fossil Museum and learn about astronomy, geology and robotics, to name a few.
Just last week, they were hand-building circuits—which thrills us to no end. Of course, the focus isn’t just on coding or electronics. From paper rockets to looking at the sun through a filter to studying rocks and minerals, learning is made fun and accessible.
David Lockett is the director and founder of camp STEM. A teacher at Homer Pittard Campus School, he started camp STEM on a whim; based solely on the idea of educating kids between kindergarten to sixth grade in a larger capacity while also avoiding summer learning loss.
“Motivation to be different drives my passion for STEM. My goal is to make sure that more students know they have the capabilities to succeed in these fields at an early age.”
Lockett was kind enough to do a quick interview with us. “I wanted to interact with a camp that was designed to give students the opportunity to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as they rotate through different classes week-long classes,” he said. The camp is set on a college campus, leaving students with a positive experience and viewpoint toward high education, especially if this is their first time being on a college campus.
Not only does camp STEM teach children about the hard sciences—students in the MTSU MTeach program can volunteer or intern for school credit and field experience. Shannon Halavert, a leadership intern, said it best: “One of our goals is to show kids that science isn’t from a textbook or powerpoint. It’s something they get to do and have fun with.”
This non-profit summer camp is truly unlike any other out there. We look forward to seeing what else this camp will achieve, and which future scientists, engineers and mathematicians will proudly say, “I first discovered my love of science and math at camp STEM.”