Alaska camp allows students to focus on problem solving
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Some Alaska students recently wrapped up a weeklong summer program that gives them the opportunity to take on hands-on challenges that encourage problem-solving, teamwork, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Students from kindergarten through sixth grade participated in Camp Invention June 4-8 at Thunder Mountain High School in Juneau, the Juneau Empire reported .
The program is a good way to keep kids excited about learning, Camp Invention Director and Thunder Mountain High School teacher Adriana Northcutt said.
“It is super-fun to see the kids who may have looked overwhelmed at the beginning of the week to come back at the end of the week and say they thought about what they were working on and they have an idea for it,” she said.
The program mostly focuses on science, technology, engineering and math and applying those subjects to the real world.
The students participated in four different modules. There was building a mini-mansion, which involved learning about LED lighting and construction. There was a module that focused on different ways to accomplish goals.
An example Northcutt used was a sticky arm that the kids had to attempt to grab things with at various levels of difficulties. Another module gave the kids an opportunity to build a robot that moved based on lighting.
The students learned how to manipulate the robotic vehicle based on how it reacted to lights. They also built and played with a robotic dog and learned about the career of a veterinarian.
The program also offers older students the chance to help teach as camp interns.
Northcutt said the program has allowed the students to really see what it takes to start from scratch with a concept and see it come to fruition.
Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com