LUNATES FOSTER STEM EXCITEMENT DURING WEEK-LONG SUMMER CAMP
Second Annual STEMQuest Camp
Features Hands-On Learning
During the week of July 11-15, 2022, the LUNATECS (FRC Team 316) hosted a week-long STEM camp in partnership with Renaissance Village at the Lighthouse Community Center in Pitman, New Jersey. Campers ages seven to eleven took part in a wide variety of science, technology, engineering, and art activities designed to spark their imaginations and foster an excitement for these fields while having fun and making new friends.
Each day featured a fresh theme. During Monday’s focus on transportation, the campers built paddle boats, paper airplanes, and rocket balloons while learning about the forces of flight and other important physics concepts. Water was the theme for Tuesday. We experimented with a water clock, designed life jackets for our tiny plastic babies, and designed cool water slides using a variety of materials. Wednesday featured building and engineering challenges with newspaper structures, “unicorn launchers”, and one of the highlights of the week: a live demonstration with Team 316’s 2022 Robot, fresh off its appearance at the FIRST World Championships.
Campers get a close-up look at the LUNATECS Robot
On Thursday our campers explored machines, building a hand-crank winch, using a wheel and axle to create clothespin racers (and utilizing an incline plane for their races. Many campers reported that a highlight of their day on Thursday was building a popsicle stick flashlight and learning how to use it for morse code messages. Our final day was spent with some fun, ooey-gooey activities: a squirt bottle art canvas, elephant toothpaste, and magnetic slime brought oohs and aahs and a lot of laughs.
In addition to the dailv themes, the campers completed daily LEGO challenges including a lego maze that they then had to “code” to quide their figures through. This introductory programming skill lays the foundation for the more complicated coding involved in robotics.
The LUNATES feel strongly about their mission to bring STEM to all and to foster a love and excitement for these fields which will continue to drive our future. Along with getting campers motivated to pursue more STEM activities, we want to impart the FIRST® Core Values of Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork. and Fun.
Two of our campers were inspired to seek out FIRST Lego teams based on their experiences at camp. The LUNATECS 100k forward to continuing this annual camp, building on our experiences and promoting STEM for all for many years to come.