Bellevue public schools STEM summer camp sparks interest for children

Posted at 9:36 AM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 19:58:24-04

BELLEVUE, NEB. (KMTV) — Bellevue Public Schools hosted its annual STEM summer camp for their students.

This summer camp is made for children who are interested in the STEM field, with the goal to promote students to enter the STEM workforce in the future.

Camp goers entering sixth and seventh grade were able to create water robots called "Spheros" and rafts. The robots all had motors in them propelling them to move around.

The students coded their robots and connected it to their tablets to control the speed of the motors.

The camp met Wednesday morning at the Lied Activity Center where STEM campers engaged in a robot race through an aquatic maze at the pool.

BPS teachers were the students biggest cheerleaders, encouraging students to never give up even if their robot gets stuck.

"We want them to learn that failing is okay, but quitting is not." Says Michelle Boyce, a BPS Elementary School teacher. "That's another thing we talk about in class a lot. Is that idea of failing forward, continuing to make changes to what you already do."

Boyce said trial and error is the best way for students to continue creating and learn from their mistakes. In her 29 years of teaching she said there is no better time to break barriers and work in a STEM field.

Mack Kennedy, a STEM camper, was thrilled to be a part of the camp. He said that the Bellevue Public School District has allowed him to practice what he loves.

Kennedy said what brought him to this camp was a teacher recommendation. Teachers throughout the disctrict find students who excell in STEM subjects, and give them the opportunity to further experiment over the summer.

"I've loved coding since the 4th grade," says Kennedy. He really enjoys playing around with it and sees himself wanting to do it in the future.

The students told 3 News Now that they underestimated the STEM curriculum, and this camp really showed them that they are capable of anything if they put their mind to it.

STEM camp lasted for three weeks with weekly student rotations. The last week of camp is on Friday, but BPS teachers encourage their students to continue creating and collaborating together.