Local Students Attend S.T.E.A.M. Spring Break Camp
Last week, 27 students ages 8-12 attended Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) courses on the campus of Delta State University. Locally funded by a grant from Monsanto Farms, the camp held five hands-on, project-based courses each day, where campers experienced educational and engaging programming under the tutelage of Delta State’s finest.
The Bologna Performing Arts Center partnered with the Delta State Departments of Art, Biology, Mathematics, and Chemistry and Physics to host this one-week day camp. Students were able to use Delta State’s exceptional facilities to learn in more creative ways, going beyond the traditional classroom setting.
Dr. Adam Johanson, director of the newly renovated Wiley Planetarium, taught lessons on the brightness of the sun and the color spectrum, and allowed students to view the sun directly through a telescope that blocks 99.99% of the sun’s light. S.T.E.A.M. Camp luckily fell upon March 14 (3/14), known to many as Pi day. Dr. Liza Cope from the Mathematics department discussed the mathematical constant with campers as well as the possible creations they could come up with while using a 3-D printer! Natalie Tyree, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, led students through a 3-D mask design project, and also worked with the older campers to create water-bottle chandeliers from repurposed objects. Dr. Robert Kagumba, Assistant Professor of Science Education, held an entire course that looked into the properties of air. Students experimented with balloons, and even had the chance to launch their own paper rockets! Associate Professor of Art Ky Johnston helped campers create small ceramic sculptures, and discussed the chemistry involved in the glazing process.
Gabby Beacham, 12, of Greenville, MS, said she enjoys having a creative outlet to explore the new concepts that the faculty introduced. “I’ve really enjoyed that this camp is involved with art,” Beacham said. “So it’s fun, but you’re still learning.”
Fourth grader Jose Brevil, Jr. of Cleveland, said his favorite class was science. “We learned about air, and what effects it has, and how to expose air, and so we made air rockets.”
Campers capped of their final day of camp with a science fair and art exhibition. Faculty judged the fair and awarded points to students who best applied the concepts covered over the course of the week. After the showcase, students attended a field trip to the Learning Center at Monsanto Farms in Scott, MS, where they visited the greenhouse and were able to watch an experiment performed on cotton.
For further information on upcoming summer programming at the BPAC, please contact the Arts Education Office at 662-846-4844.