STEM camps at SCC teach students employment and life skills

September 17, 2013

Students ages 7-13 learned science, technology, engineering and math skills during several STEM camps offered over the summer by St. Charles Community College’s College for all Kids program.

STEM camps at SCC teach students employment and life skills

Students participated in a LEGO Robotics Engineering camp this summer at St. Charles Community College. The camp will be offered again during fall break, beginning Oct. 14.

Several of SCC’s camps focused on STEM subjects, including Lego Robotics Engineering, Kinderscience, Physics, Flight and Vehicles, Computer Game Design, Geocaching, Creative Chemistry, Computer Animation and Mad Inventors.

“The STEM camps were designed to help students develop employment and life skills, including critical thinking, time management, collaboration, communication and self confidence,” said Amy Fitzwilliam, program coordinator for SCC’s Division of Corporate and Community Development.

LEGO Robotic Engineering will be offered again this fall as a Fall Break STEM camp, for students ages 7-12, beginning Oct. 14. Two sections are available, and tuition ranges from $135-$225. Students work in teams, using programming techniques and principles of simple and complex machines. They strategize, design, build, program and test robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT kits. Projects include making cars, using rack and pinion steering and building a lawn mower.

SCC also offers homeschool enrichment courses covering STEM subjects, including Computerized LEGO Robotic Engineering beginning Oct. 23. There will also be a Computerized Lego Robotic Engineering class for students ages 10-14, beginning Oct. 21. Tuition is $59 for each.

“The camps and courses are a good tool to teach STEM subjects,” said Jack Bilow, SCC instructor. “The students may not notice right off the bat, but they are learning so much.”

Bilow, now retired, taught middle school science for more than 30 years. In addition to teaching the Lego Robotic Engineering camps and homeschool courses at SCC, he also has coached an SCC robotics team, RoboTronix, which placed first in Mechanical Design at the SCC Eastern Missouri Qualifier and went on to compete in the First Lego Championship. He previously taught in the SEMAA (Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy) program sponsored by NASA.

“The STEM camps are a fun way to learn what you can do with your robot,” Bilow said. “Children discover how much fun science and technology can be while learning hands on problem solving.”  

SCC will offer STEM camps during Spring Break in March and STEM classes for the winter/spring semester. Registration will open on Nov. 25.

For more information, visit www.stchas.edu/learnforlife or call 636-922-8233.

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St. Charles Community College is a public, comprehensive two-year community college with associate degrees and certificate programs in the arts, business, sciences and career-technical fields. SCC provides workforce training and community-based personal and professional development as well as cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities. For more information, visit www.stchas.edu.

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