This summer, during the last two weeks in June, PALCS held the 2017 STEM Camp at the Advanced Ideas Center (AIC) in West Chester, PA. There were two sessions of the program that each ran for one week from 8 am – 12 pm each day. Students in grades 6-8 were invited to participate in the camp, which took place from June 19th to June 30th.

Mr. Dan Slusser, middle school teacher, was head of the summer program, which was designed to expose students of all ability levels to STEM-related concepts and activities in a collaborative, teacher-guided environment. A range of activities were planned for those who were just beginning to explore the field of STEM, all the way up to those who are highly skilled and are taking steps to enter into a STEM-related career.

Students had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with some of the most popular STEM devices and tools available on the market. Each special tool was carefully chosen to address the acquisition of a specific skill set.

The devices and tools featured at this year’s camp included:

  • Raspberry Pi – a Linux-based mini computer
  • Astro Pi SenseHat – a Raspberry Pi add-on, a version of which is orbiting our planet right now on the International Space Station
  • Scratch programming language – to develop and program our devices
  • Python programming language – to develop and program our devices
  • Makey Makey – a kit that turns everyday objects into digital objects, allowing anyone to study circuitry and methods of controlling devices
  • Vex IQ robot – similar to LEGO Mindstorms robots, but with more functionality
  • Computer Vision – to explore and demonstrate how computers can “see”
  • 3D Printing – to produce practical and fun objects

We would like to thank all of the students who participated, their families, and the hard-working teachers for making this program possible; especially Mr. Slusser for taking the lead in ensuring the success of this camp. There is always something going on in the PALCS community! Currently enrolled students should always make sure to check PALCSchool calendars to see what upcoming events and programs are available!

Video showing highlights of students at the STEM Summer Camp