Area Youth Participate in STEM Summer Camp @ PNC, 2013

Purdue University North Central is hosting STEM Summer Camp @ PNC, 2013
for  area young people at its Westville campus through Aug. 25. 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 and Barker Woods. The camp’s primary underwriter is the 21st
Century  Community Learning Centers grant.

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 six  weeks. During the remaining
hours, they will participate in activities offered  by their youth
programs.

The camp learning activities include:

“Fun with Numbers” with Dr. Kumara  Jayasuriya, PNC associate vice
chancellor for Academic Affairs and associate  professor of Mathematics.
The campers enjoyed a variety of fun and interesting  age-appropriate
games to expand their knowledge of math and enhance their math  skills.

Dr. Diane Spoljoric, PNC associate  professor
of Nursing, and “Healthy Choices for Life,” teaching campers about  how
their food choices and physical activities impact their lives so that
they  are able to make wise decisions throughout life.

Jerry DeGroot, PNC continuing lecturer  in
Mathematics, with “Humerus Metric Measurements & A Few Good Belly
Graphs.” A horse measured in feet and hands can win a race by a nose or a
hair  in the wink of an eye and have a leg up on the competition. Body
measurements can  be a source of confusion, especially when they are
used as units for  measurement. DeGroot explains how to measure a
humerus length, belly width and other  measurements on cartoon animals.
After making line plots to represent the  variations in data, discussing
any linear measurements errors and how to reduce  those errors, campers
are able to measure some of their own body parts with  some accuracy.

Holly Beadles, art instructor with the  Michigan City Area Schools and
“Kinetic Art: Making Mobiles,” will teach
how to  make a mobile and use the mobile as the basis for a talk about
kinetic art and  how wind interacts with it. The group will look at
examples of artist Alexander  Calder’s work, then use wire, card stock
and other materials to put together a  mobile. The sculpture “Breeze
Keeper” by Christine Rojek, part of the PNC  Odyssey sculpture
collection, will demonstrate how wind and nature can become  vital
components of a piece of art. NIPSCO sponsors this week’s activities.

Joan Wisniewski, president of the  Potawatomi
Audubon Society, and Potawatomi Audubon Society members will lead  “Tree
Structure.” The session will begin indoors with students  discussing
the parts of a tree. Moving outside, they will role-play all of  these
parts. Students will learn which everyday products such as gum, rubber,
shampoo and candy bars may have ingredients derived from a tree as they
see the  actual products and read the ingredients. Each student
receives a bird buddy  bracelet.

Dr. Aaron Warren, PNC associate  professor of
Physics, with “Stars and Galaxies” which focuses on stellar  lifecycles
and how the Milky Way galaxy formed.   Campers will engage
demonstrations, view some astronomy pictures and take  part in hands-on
activities such as making their own storybooks for how the  solar system
formed using crayons/colored pencils.

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 ebernel@pnc.edu. Persons  with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Bernel.