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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Students Explore STEM Topics at Summer Camp

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Hundreds of Mansfield ISD students spent part of their summer experiencing that science can be fun and interactive.

MISD’s Science Camp allowed kids entering grades 1 through 5 to engage in hands-on labs and experiments while studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“The children get an opportunity to really enjoy school in the summer with science,” said camp administrator Daniel Beauford. “It’s very much a camp feel.”

One of the most popular activities was a lockbox escape room, in which students solved puzzles and received clues to unlock boxes and get a prize.

Students also tinkered with circuits, played with robots, launched catapults and built putt-putt golf courses with recycled materials.

Students enjoyed solving puzzles to open the lockboxes.
“In mini golf, I learned engineering,” said Genesis Hunter, an incoming fourth-grader at Willie E. Brown Elementary School. “It was fun, and we got to build things.”

This year, the district extended the science camp to two one-week sessions to accommodate more students. A total of nearly 600 students attended the camp.

Beauford said although the projects are fun, his goal is to teach students how each activity links back to STEM topics.

“Some of the time, they don’t even know what they just did, and then when you explain the science behind it, they’re like, ‘That’s what that was?’ So that’s pretty awesome,” Beauford continued.

The first camp session ran from June 4 to June 8. The second session began on June 11 and will wrap up on June 15.

On the last day of each session, the students show their parents everything they learned that week.

Organizers said they’re excited to see so many kids being passionate about science. They expect camp attendance to continue to grow.