STEM camp gets kids excited to learn science and math - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

STEM camp gets kids excited to learn science and math

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- For years, test scores have indicated a need for an increased emphasis in science and math, and a hands-on approach to learning is paving the way for how schools may teach science in the future. 

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and a push for a greater STEM emphasis in schools is picking up steam in the area. One summer camp is offering kids a chance to explore that world like they never had before.

Can science lead you to solve a crime?

The answer is yes. That is just one of many examples of what a week-long camp is trying to show area 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.

"At school," says KeAndre, a 3rd grader who lives in Rochester, "you don't get to do the kind of things you do at STEM Camp."

The third annual STEM Camp gives students the chance to realize that science and math can be fun.

"They are having a lot of fun, absolutely," says Colleen Maddox, the Community and Youth Program Director at Rochester Community and Technical College. "If the sound level could be measured in here and we had a meter, I'm sure you could tell that the kids were having a great time. So, the kids are learning about finger prints, foot prints, they're learning about blood sample examinations. We are having the kids actually program the robots, build the robots, but also to do research. Does Wikipedia give you everything you need to know for research? I think not, and that's what they're learning, how to do different research."

Area schools are jumping into the latest STEM movement. The Austin Public School District's new addition will have a heavy emphasis on STEM education.

"What we want to do is stimulate the children's interest in these four components," explains Maddox. "So, not only are they excited about it at the elementary level, but they carry that into their high school, college level and certainly into their future career."

The kids think they are in for a week of fun, and little do they know that every thing they do is teaching them new and exciting things.

"Yes, I'm learning much more, I'm having much more fun than sitting in a classroom for eight hours every day listening to a teacher talk," shares Noah, a student from Dodge Center. "We get to do different things, we get to go into different rooms and do a bunch of cool stuff like that."

The kids at the camp go in with an open mind about science and math and end up leaving with a world of new possibilities for the future.

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