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Engineering in Summer Camps: Tapping the Potential

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Curriculum Exchange II

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.550.1 - 25.550.9



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Shepard University of Saint Thomas

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Colton Thomas Altobell Camp Olson YMCA

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Engineering in Summer Camps: Untapped PotentialAbstract: STEM focused camps are becoming ubiquitous throughout the country and offer agreat opportunity for reaching students with an interest in STEM during the summer months.Traditional summer camps, which are often more focused on skills building and fun, can alsoprovide a unique opportunity for children to learn in a non-traditional environment during acritical time for students to stay mentally active. The traditional summer camp learningenvironment further provides number of distinct advantages including the staff of role modelswhom campers look up to, an interaction between children of many ages and diversebackgrounds, and the possibility to implement short, hands-on activities which can serve the dualpurpose of promoting a camp’s mission as well as engineering and technical knowledge. Thispaper describes one such activity involving hand-powered electricity generation which allowsusers to see, and more importantly feel the differences between incandescent, compactfluorescent and LED lights. A detailed description of the apparatus is provided and feedback isgiven from its implementation during the past summer in which it was used at a YMCA summercamp by people from age 4-78. This paper further discusses the outreach possibilities, includingthe potential audience numbers and demographics available at summer camps for educatingpeople of all ages using the YMCA as an example.

Shepard, T., & Altobell, C. T. (2012, June), Engineering in Summer Camps: Tapping the Potential Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21308

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