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Camp Gives Kids Lessons In STEM Careers

May 23, 2012, 5:01 PM by Nicole Winters

Camp Gives Kids Lessons In STEM Careers
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, careers will be in demand in the years to come. One summer camp is hoping to help fill some of those future positions by striking an interest in young kids.

There are certain parts of science that may gross people out, but not for Cam Crozier.

"We're dissecting hearts, sheep hearts," Crozier said.

Crozier has no problem handling the organ.  And he's even looking forward to studying the cow eye, which will go under the knife next.

"It smells really bad," Crozier said.

"Each day, they come and do some type of STEM activity," Bio-Medical Science Instructor Allison Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson is helping coordinate a weeklong science camp at CTE.  It's giving middle school students in the Sioux Falls area a chance to do hands-on activities using science, technology, engineering and math.  They even get to build a working machine from scratch, which is a highlight for Sean Hurley.

"You get to build robots, which is probably my favorite so far," Hurley said.

"We're all about student engagement and keeping them on track, and allowing them to explore new things maybe they wouldn't get to do in a traditional classroom," Hutchinson said.

Whether it's dissecting something or building a robot from just pieces, the camp is meant to offer these kids experiences that will hopefully open doors in their future.

"We're really trying to start the pipeline for professionals in the area," Hutchinson said.

Careers in the STEM field are expected to be in need over the next several years. This is a fun way to get them revved up and spinning in one of those directions.

"I think I'll have good experience.  Try to get into this next year; just overall have a fun experience," Hurley said.

The program is funded through a $30,000 ESPCoR grant.

The camp also includes a trip to the Sanford Research Center where they get to work side by side with researchers.

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