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STEM summer camp bring video games, comic books to life

Carol Serrata and Issie Zuzich work on their video game boards to compete against each other during the summer STEM camp at Hanover Central High School.

CEDAR LAKE — It's summer, but some students are still learning and having fun at the STEM computer camp held at Hanover Central High School.

Soon to be fifth-graders from Lincoln and Jane Ball elementary schools are attending a summer camp with Debra Meekma as the director of the camp.

Students are creating their own projects using 3D printers, Google Expeditions Tour Creator, Root Robot and more.

“We are doing a little bit of language arts, computers, science and technology,” Meekma said. “The students are creating their own video games, programming a robot and they are making keychains using a 3D printer and some are even making their own comic book.”

Meekma said the students really like making their own 13-bit video game.

“They design the game using a grid and then they take pictures and an app transfers what they created into a video game,” Meekma said.

“It’s amazing how quick they pick up the video games and the programs,” Meekma said. “As adults you think they will never learn how to do it. They are not afraid to press buttons and learn things. Kids have no fear. They jump into things with both feet.”

Issie Zuzich, 10, was working on a video game during the camp.

“I like video games, but making a game has me more interested in it. This class is fun,” Zuzich said.

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Abagael VanGuilder made a keychain using the 3D printer and also made a comic book creating her very own superhero. “I really like making the keychain and it is so cool to make a comic book,” VanGuilder said.

Gavin Dreizler has enjoyed the camp and thinks he might want to create video games when he is older.

“It’s pretty easy to create one but they are hard to beat,” Dreizler said.

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Zach DiSanta, 10, was working on a comic book and was even adding sound bytes to it for the computer.

Meekma said the goal of the camp is to get the students to think outside the box.

“I want them to create things and be able to print out the comic books and take them home,” Meekma said. “These students are the up and coming generation. These kids make it easy for me to do this camp. They want to be here.”

Meekma said this camp is new this year but the response has been good and she hopes to have it again next year.

“It’s been a learning process,” Mrs. Meekma said. “I have more ideas and I am in a charge of a computer club at Lincoln.”

The second session of this camp is 9 to 11:30 a.m. July 1 to July 25 at Hanover Central High School. Call Meekma at 219-374-3600 ext. 3636 or email dmeekma@hanover.k12.in.us.

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