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Thursday, June 21, 2018

New Summer Camp Challenges Students to Make and Create

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There’s an inventor in all of us. That’s what students entering fifth grade learned this week in Mansfield ISD’s inaugural Maker University.

The university featured five different colleges: film, robotics, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and graphic design. Participants chose two of those colleges to focus on for the week.

“We wanted our campers to make things and create things using some of the tools that are unique to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” said Jeremy Beckwith, the camp administrator.

Students in the robotics college built robots and drone remotes.
Students created commercials, programmed remotes for drones, constructed gliders, made slime and printed on 3-D printers, to name a few.

Although there was much to learn, Beckwith said fun is the primary objective of the camp.

“We want the kids to have a good time while they’re here,” Beckwith continued. “We wanted them to let their imaginations run wild in whatever choice they have. And that’s the other big thing. We gave them choice.”

Katelyn Castro, an incoming fifth-grader at Della Icenhower Intermediate School, said the camp stretched her mind and provided her with new ways to solve problems.

“It gives you more challenges,” she said. “And it’s very entertaining, compared to just sitting down at a desk and working on papers, because you’re actually in the action.”

Maker University was held at the Jerry Knight STEM Academy from June 18 through June 22. The camp capacity was 100 students.