Students Mix Art with Science in STEM Summer Camp

2013-07-17T19:15:00Z Students Mix Art with Science in STEM Summer CampContributed by PNC nwitimes.com
July 17, 2013 7:15 pm  • 

WESTVILLE | The area students taking part in the Purdue University North Central STEM Summer Camp @ PNC, 2013 are gaining a first-hand look at how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (the STEM disciplines) are vital to their lives and a fundamental component of most everything they do.

The six-week camp brings young people, ages six to 12, to the PNC campus as part of the summer programming for 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 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant.

Each group travels to PNC one morning a week for six weeks, with each week featuring a different theme exploring a different aspect of the STEM disciplines. With the entire PNC campus serving as a classroom, PNC faculty, staff and local professionals serve as instructors, presenting age-appropriate learning activities for the students. For many, the camp represents their first opportunity to visit to a college campus.

The camp includes this week's activity, "Kinetic Art: Making Mobiles" with Holly Beadles, an art Instructor with the Michigan City Area Schools. NIPSCO is sponsoring this week's activities.

Beadles centers her activities on learning about kinetic art and how wind interacts with it. Students will make a mobile using wire, card stock and some other things. They will study examples of artist Alexander Calder's work.

The newly installed sculpture, "Breeze Keeper," by Christine Rojek will be used as another example of how winds and nature can be incorporated into art.

The STEM camp activities provide an exceptional week of learning by highly qualified instructors on a college campus. Learning experiences such as these change lives. Through its sponsorship, NIPSCO has helped to enrich the lives of the participating children.

The camp curricula also features:

Dr. Kumara Jayasuriya, associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and associate professor of Mathematics, leading campers through "Fun with Numbers."

Dr. Diane Spoljoric, PNC associate professor of Nursing, with "Healthy Choices for Life."

Jerry DeGroot, PNC continuing lecturer in Mathematics, with "Humerus Metric Measurements & a Few Good Belly Graphs."

Joan Wisniewski, president of the Potawatomi Audubon Society, and members of the Potawatomi Audubon Society will present "Tree Structure."

Dr. Aaron Warren, PNC associate professor of Physics, with "Stars and Galaxies."

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