GOLDSBORO – On Friday August 6, the Wayne County Public Library completed the first STEM camp for teens. This innovative camp is just the start of the STEM program that the library will coordinate in partnership with Wayne Community College to generate interest in STEM fields, including AI (artificial intelligence).
In the STEM camp, local teens in 6th gradee-8e attended a week-long STEM program focused on immersing students in STEM fields such as robotics, drone piloting, coding and 3D printing. Nate Myers, founder of the M Project LLC and STEM coordinator and instructional technology trainer at Rocky Mount Preparatory School, led the camp.
Students adapted different STEM technologies in design activities to create their own prototypes of arcade machines, wallets, etc. During the camp, students were also introduced to entrepreneurial thinking, which develops the empathy necessary for solving problems in the real world. Using empathy and entrepreneurial thinking, the teens discussed and identified issues in everyday life, such as flooding in Wayne County, recycling in Wayne County schools, pesticide pollution of crops. and solar energy solutions. The students contacted professionals with their questions and were then able to create prototypes, which they presented to a jury.
The judges rated the projects on the basis of originality, solution idea and functionality of the prototype. The judges included personalities from the local community, Paul Casey, Scott Satterfield, Dr Katherine MacDonald and Cristy Barnes-Williams. Parents and guest Timothy Owens, the North Carolina State Librarian, were also in attendance.
“My favorite part of being an educator and working with young people is seeing the growth and development of students. Seeing how far they’ve come in a week in terms of problem-solving skills, soft skills, communication skills, and creativity was amazing, and I’m happy to be a part of it. Each day there was a light bulb moment from each student in which I saw the spark and their imaginations take off. Once that happened, they took initiatives on their own to work with technological tools, bring their own robots, design their own games and challenges, and explore their own sense of innovation, ”said Nate. Myers. “It was an amazing experience. I know I have done my part when the children take ownership of their own learning and discovery.
This grant is made possible by funding from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-250229-OLS-21).