Innovation from Concept to Reality in Westfield Schools STEM Camp

bb4250619df2ed3fad7a_STEM_camp_building_bridge.JPG
Avry Giordano, Cassie Miller, and Rachel Malkinzon (l-r) construct a bridge, which afterwards was tested with weights to determine the strength of their design, in one of many team projects at STEM Camp in the Westfield Public Schools this summer. Credits: Westfield Public Schools
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Incoming Westfield fifth grader Ryan Gasson is guided by Roosevelt Intermediate School Science teacher, Andrew Baush, on using the Thermo-Vac to create a mold of the alternative energy product they designed during Westfield Public Schools summer STEM camp. Credits: Westfield Public Schools
bb4250619df2ed3fad7a_STEM_camp_building_bridge.JPG

Developing solutions from concept to reality took place on a daily basis at Westfield Public School District’s third annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Camp held at Edison Intermediate School.

The camp, which ended July 24, was extended an extra week this year to three weekly sessions to accommodate the growing interest in the program by both boys and girls. Taught by Westfield School teachers, campers attended one week of STEM according to grade level, with each level experiencing high-quality learning using state-of-the-art equipment and software.

This summer, Westfield students in grades 3 – 8 dealt with a real-world challenge by journeying through a series of hands-on, engaging workshops guided by the engineering design process. STEM Camp Coordinator, Sean Bonasera, who is the Technology teacher at Edison, explained that campers this summer used the engineering design process to innovate and build an alternative energy product to be marketplace ready, and created a video commercial to promote it.

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Bonasera said that by using 21st century technology, campers strengthened math, science and engineering, and critical and creative thinking skills, while also developing an understanding of the multiple facets of product creation. Throughout the week, campers delved into facets of electronics, alternative energies, materials science, packaging, graphic design, video production and marketing. Projects included working with and learning about thermoplastic materials, solar power, circuitry, graphic design, and a variety of engineering and marketing software.

“The students show so much enthusiasm for the activities, and our teachers discover more each year about our students and what drives them to learn” stated Paul Pineiro, Westfield’s Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Program.

“We wanted the campers to have a new, truly creative, integrated STEM experience from start to finish,” stated Bonasera. “We wanted them to work as a team, contribute ideas, and walk away with new-found knowledge that could potentially lead to real-world STEM careers in their future,” he added.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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