Summer STEM Camp at Destin MS a Success!

Summer STEM Camp at Destin MS

The free Summer STEM Camp, hosted by the Career and Technical Education Department and the Gulf Power Foundation at Destin Middle School, was a huge success! Designed to build knowledge and understanding of the STEM areas, the hands-on activities increased engagement and fun.

Over 20 in-coming 5th grade students explored the principles of flight with paper airplanes and air-powered rockets. They launched projectiles (giant marshmallows) with their custom engineered catapults to gain a better understanding of applied physics as well as the design and engineering problem-solving methodology. While exploring cephalopods’ ability to change their shape and color to blend in with their surroundings, they added LED “eyes” to their models and gained a basic understanding of electrical circuits (power supply, current, output, open and closed circuit).

The students explored structures and the forces involved and as a team competed with a given set of materials in a set time limit to build the tallest free-standing structure that would support a tennis ball at the greatest height. Students explored chemical engineering by creating a glowing bouncy ball from common home ingredients. And students explored coding concepts with simple drag and drop block code applications. Then with their previously gained knowledge of an electric circuit, they added the LittleBitsTM system and began to explore the world of machine control technology (circuit + programming = machine controls).

Throughout the week of STEM camp, students documented their findings in their custom designed engineering journal, a keepsake reminder along with their t-shirts, of all the fun they had at the Free Summer STEM Camp.