Whitesboro Middle School Hosts Inaugural Science and Tech Academy Summer Camp
Whitesboro sixth, seventh and eighth grade students had a unique opportunity this summer to continue their learning and focus on interests in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Twenty-eight students participated in the Whitesboro Central School District’s inaugural Science and Tech Academy – a five-day summer camp that covered a variety of topics including solar power, rocketry, electronics, nanotechnology and robotics.
The program is the result of two years of planning by Middle School Principal Mr. Egresits, Technology Teacher Mr. Casler and Science Teacher Mr. Putnam, aimed at providing a fun and educational alternative to traditional summer camps.
“We wanted to develop a program that would engage our middle school students and keep them interested in STEM during the summer break,” said Mr. Casler.
Mr. Casler and Mr. Putnam, along with Middle School Teachers Mrs. Butka and Mr. French, began each day of the camp with a 15-20 minute lesson on a STEM topic followed by hands-on activities for students.
“Our goal was to provide different hands-on lessons each day where students could work on projects and create something to take home with them,” said Mr. Putnam.
Some of the week’s activities included creating a solar cockroach that used the sun to power a vibrating motor and designing a soda bottle water rocket propelled by water and pressurized air.
The Science and Tech Academy wrapped-up on July 20 with a field trip to SUNY Polytechnic Institute, where students learned about robotics and got a firsthand look at the school’s STEM classrooms.
The summer camp was made possible by a grant through National Grid and planned with assistance from Mohawk Valley Community College.
Mr. Casler and Mr. Putnam hope to continue and expand the Science and Tech Academy next summer with an even larger group of students!
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