STEPHENVILLE (June 30, 2018)-Tarleton State University held an engineering camp for students entering sixth through ninth grade last week. During the last day of the camp, students were given the opportunity to show their parents the projects they completed and told them what they learned during the week.
Students also built popsicle-stick bridges to use as a leverage for sand to fill into a bucket. The bridges had to be sturdy enough to hold the bucket with sand. One student filled his bucket to the top with sand with his popsicle-stick bridge remaining intact. His bucket weighed 63 pounds.
Associate Dean for the school of engineering Dr. Denise Martinez has been running the engineering camp for about 15 years now. She created the camp to get students interested in engineering technology.
“[The camp was created] to engage with kids in that intermediate school/junior high level and try to interest them in problem-solving and programming and engineering technology, so that they would do those types of things through high school and then ultimately, hopefully, come be one of our majors,” Martinez said.
Students spent the week learning how to be problem-solvers and they also participated in many design-and-build projects. They constructed popsicle-stick bridges and built rockets; they engaged in 3D printing; and they also got to take part in Lego robotics.
The camp had a great turnout as well. The camp reached capacity with close to 70 students participating.
“I hope (the students) had a lot of fun (during the camp) and that they become more confident in their problem-solving skills,” Martinez said. “I hope they learn that math and science isn’t this scary, mean thing; that it’s actually cool and you can do a lot of cool stuff with it. I also hope that they will go on to participate in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) fields in high school and college.”