The University of New Orleans is hosting two, one-week Hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Summer Camps for students and middle school teachers, presented by Core Element, a local nonprofit that promotes quality teaching in STEM. Each interactive camp pairs students and teachers who learn and work side-by-side in UNO's Engineering Building as they explore LEGO EV3 Robotics and Arduino Microcomputer Programming.
In the first session, which ran July 20-24, students and teachers designed, built and programmed autonomous robots. In the second session, which takes place July 27-31, participants gain new skills in computer programming and electronics engineering. They learn to combine components like lights, motors and sensors, and expand the capabilities of the LEGO EV3 robots.
"Students need to understand why science and math are important and become engaged in the learning process. To be effective, teachers need to involve students in STEM classroom activities that are fun and interesting," said Jan Brenan, executive director of Core Element.
Core Element's Hands-On STEM Summer Camps offer a unique, integrated model of training teachers while engaging students in STEM activities. Working in teams, students develop critical skills in reasoning, analytical thinking leadership and team-building. Teachers receive valuable training and interactive professional development that helps them to be more engaging and effective in the classroom.
During both camps, students also learn about the diversity of STEM careers and the importance of math and science proficiency, an increasingly critical skill for current and future jobs. Students have the opportunity to meet with local STEM professionals to discover how to translate interest in math or science into potential careers, learn general job requirements for a specific career path, and gain an understanding of the scope and variety of STEM career possibilities.
Core Element's Hands-On STEM Summer Camps, held in partnership with UNO's College of Engineering and College of Sciences, are sponsored by IEEE Foundation, Lockheed Martin, Entergy, Atmos Energy, Schlumberger and Antares Technical Solutions.