STEM Sprouts to Life with MU Summer Camp

STEM Camp participants

But why? That’s the question many curious middle school schoolers constantly ask during their vital learning years. Fortunately, that question was answered often during Methodist University’s STEM Camp.

Last week, a few dozen middle school students participated in the week-long camp, which focused on the four main tenants of STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The young students had a chance to learn about 13 different exciting and fun, but educational, topics from MU faculty:

  • Microorganisms: Good, Bad, & Ugly (Dr. Andrew Lybbert and Dr. Lauren Klabonski)
  • Kinesiology: Growing the STEM Together (Dr. Greg Stewart)
  • Technology in Nursing (Dr. Shannon Matthews)
  • Mathematics: Measurement Olympics (Dan Bennett, Cecilia Ducloz, and Dr. Kathy Fick)
  • Video Capture Movement Analysis (Dr. Matt Foreman and Dr. John Fox)
  • Health Sciences: Broken Bones (Dr. Greer Fisher and Lynn McCandless)
  • Trash-Collecting Water Robot (Dr. Jessica Redcay)
  • Kinesiology: Yoga (Dr. Amanda Ransom and Dr. Jamie Robbins)
  • Computer Science: Visual Programming (Dr. Tat Chan and Dr. Masud Rana)
  • Roller Coaster Engineering (Dr. Denise Bauer and Dr. Girish Upreti)
  • STEM to Screen (Alexis Howard)
  • Forensic Science: CSI (Dr. Steve Downs)
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (Dr. Vijay Antharam)

“The middle school years are when most students start to really think about what they want to do when they grow up. However, many students start to lose their interest in the STEM fields at this age,” said event organizer Dr. Denise Bauer, the chair and director of Engineering. “Therefore, it’s important to expose this age group to STEM so they can continue to explore the possibilities throughout high school and beyond.”

Dr. Shannon Matthews, the chair and director of Nursing, taught the “Technology in Nursing” session, allowing young students to tour the Nursing Building’s simulation hospital. Not only did they learn how to use a stethoscope and how to dress a wound, but the students got an opportunity to work directly with electronic manakins.

“This is important to me because a simulation hospital is where I started in nursing education. I think there’s a lot of benefits to hands-on learning. It gives them practical experience in the event they ever have to help someone in the real world,” said Matthews.

For seventh grader Sophie Redcay, the STEM Camp was a perfect way to spend one week of her summer.

“It was a lot of fun. I learned the proper way to address a wound, how to listen to breathing, and even the techniques of bedside manner. My favorite part was holding the simulation newborn baby in the delivery room,” said Redcay.

We invite you to view more images captured during this week’s STEM Camp by visiting our Flickr page. You can also learn more about our upcoming summer camps on our website.