July 7, 2011
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Dr. Vanessa Quinn, PNC assistant professor of Biology, shows a tadpole to youngsters participating in the STEM Summer Camp at PNC.
Area Youth Participate in STEM Summer Camp @ PNC, 2011
Westville – Purdue University North Central is hosting STEM Summer Camp @ PNC, 2011 for area young people at its Westville campus from June 27 through Aug. 4. The camp emphasizes activities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines and introduces students to the campus as they take part in age-appropriate learning with PNC faculty, staff and local professionals as their instructors.
The young people, ages six to 12, are participants in this summer program that is part of the La Porte County Coalition of Youth Serving Agencies (YSA) including Imagination Station, Boys and Girls Club, Michigan City Parks and Recreation, Safe Harbor, Barker Woods and North Central Community Action Agencies in Michigan City.
Indoor and outdoor activities keep these youth mentally and physically engaged for their time on campus with up to 160 children spending one morning a week at PNC for the six-week program. During the remaining hours, they will participate in activities offered by their youth programs.
The curricula features:
“Creepy Crawly Week;” with Dr. Vanessa Quinn, assistant professor of Biology and herpetologist, will look at science with a focus on biology. Youngsters will catch frogs and butterflies at Bards' Bond. They also will learn about insects and each student will be given a set of insect flash cards to help them identify the insects they find.
“Science with a Focus: Civil Engineers” with Debra Pratt, continuing lecturer of Education and Dr. Mary Jane Eisenhauer, assistant professor of Early Childhood Education, will teach students what it is to be an engineer. The group will explore suspension bridges and make a human suspension bridge using people and ropes. The students will pair up and be given a budget to purchase materials to create a suspension bridge with objects like toothpicks, coffee stirrers, straws, gumdrops, string licorice, marshmallows and the like.
"Trees, Please" with Dr. Jason Curtis, associate professor of Biology, will center on trees and plants and why they are important to ecosystems. Students will be taught to make careful observations of plants, practicing basic drawing skills and learning useful vocabulary, classification and identification. The group will go outdoors to identify some common trees around the PNC campus.
"Levitation, Lasers, and Invisible Forces" taught by Dr. Aaron Warren, assistant professor of Physics, will begin with a lesson about magnetism and the different types of magnetism, such as how to make a frog levitate. They'll investigate how magnetic fields affect electric particles by using bar magnets to bend electron beams and they'll work some puzzles to make a laser beam follow certain paths. Finally, the group will use an eight-inch telescope with a solar filter to look at the interaction between electricity, magnetism and light by observing sunspots.
“Miraculous Monarchs” led by Joan Wisniewski , president of the Potawatomi Audubon Societ y, will feature a variety of interactive activities to teach students to recognize and identify the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly.
“Youth Arts Odyssey: Sculpture and STEM” with Judy Jacobi, assistant vice chancellor of Marketing and Campus Relations, and Michelle Wiser, artist, will focus on engineering and its relationship to art. Students will view diverse sculptural pieces on campus and answer the question “How do they do that?” by learning the processes artists use to create sculpture. Student teams will create their own 3-D sculpture and teams will evaluate each others' “sculptures” using critical thinking to rate each project's stability, organization, construction and appearance.
Enrollment for this camp session is closed. Further information can be obtained by contacting Liz Bernel, PNC coordinator of Special Events and Marketing at 785-5200, ext. 5719 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Bernel.