Students in 4th,  5th  and 6th grades enjoyed a wide array of activities during the two weeks of STEAM camp held on USC Salkehatchie’s Allendale campus in June. Intended to develop an interest in the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math – the camp went one step further and incorporated art into the curriculum.   The camp fostered creativity and excitement,  making for a learning environment that incorporated a healthy dose of fun.

Teachers  structured activities that involved a wide range of STEAM topics, such as:

  • Circuitry boards and vehicles
  • Wind-powered machines (designed and fabricated by student teams)
  • Owl pellet dissection and skeletal identification
  • Shape assembly through the use of Tangrams
  • Dyes and color design
  • Chemical reactions of acids and bases through eruptions and geysers
  • Creation of slime and goo
  • Robotics – building and programming Lego robots
  • Static electricity generator (Van de Graaf)

Each activity brought with it an ongoing discussion of the knowledge and skills that are applicable to careers in the STEM fields. Students were encouraged to try new things and to imagine jobs that may incorporate their interests.

The campers were also treated to presentations by guest lecturers, who covered wide-ranging topics such as mechanical engineering (Doug Leader, 60-year career at SRS) and wildlife ecology (staff from the Savannah River Ecology Lab, and staff from Georgia Southern’s Raptor Center).

Each Friday was a fun day on which students could wear their tie-dyed creations as they raced circuitry vehicles and let off a little STEAM on a fun water slide.

The camp was planned and sponsored by the USC Salkehatchie Leadership Institute, and was supported by funds from the Department of Energy, as well as the Allendale County School District. Over 90 area youth participated this year. For more information, please contact the USC Salkehatchie Leadership Institute at 803-584-3446.