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.