By RACHEL TUGGLE
STEPHENVILLE (July 6, 2015) — The annual Tarleton summer engineering camp began Monday morning with an icebreaker activity for the kids. Students formed a circle and held hands across the circle to create a human knot, and then were told to untangle that knot. Teaching such problem solving skills is part of the core of what makes up engineering camp.
Dr. Denise Martinez, department head of the Engineering and Computer Science Department and associate professor, said, “The overall goal is to increase the kids’ interest in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math.”
This week-long camp accomplishes these goals through a variety of engaging activities such as robot programing and building and design projects. Campers will also learn about digital circuits, different materials and how they behave, and what being an engineer means.
Kayla Jacobs, engineering major and camp counselor, said, “I am looking forward to working with the kids and showing them how fun engineering can be. And the LEGO robot activity.”
In addition to attending camp, campers have a homework assignment – building a bridge that can hold a five gallon bucket of sand.
“They are seeing how their math and science is used in big, real world projects,” Martinez said.
This year, engineering camp lasts all day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Campers age ranges from incoming sixth graders to incoming freshmen. Since the camp is a full day, the forty students will take a field trip on Thursday to the Luminant nuclear plant at Comanche Peak near Glen Rose. They will tour the plant and meet some of the engineers who work there.
“We are helping kids learn about engineering and how it can make a difference in the world,” Martinez said.
To see more pictures throughout the week, check the Tarleton Engineering Summer Program on Facebook.