Rising ninth-grade students Zoey Locklear and Kaya Kusmierczuk worked diligently on separating molecules — an activity most high school students don’t know much about.
The activity, along with many others, was a small part of the week-long STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) camp held in conjunction with Clinton City Schools, Sampson County Schools and Sampson Community College.
The purpose of the camp is to get students exposed to out-of-the-box concepts that are on the brink of a career reality for them. Students going through this camp are rising ninth graders who need to begin looking into their future plans.
“We are extremely excited to offer this life-changing experience to our students,” Shelia Peterson, director of middle grades for Sampson County Schools, said. “We are grateful to our devoted sponsors for their commitment to the work of providing a no-cost summer camp to deserving students across Sampson County.”
According to Kimberly Jackson, nurse for Sampson County Schools, STEAM camp is a program for students to be introduced and explore a variety of academic areas. The camp has provided an introduction to coding, robotics, drama and art.
The camp has allowed students like Locklear and Kusmierczuk to grasp a better understanding of what plans they have for the future.
“This has been a great experience,” Locklear said. “I have had the chance to meet new people and that has lead to friendships that last a long time. The activities we have been involved in has given me a better perspective on what job opportunities I may want to pursue in the future.”
The STEAM camp is a collaborative effort between both school systems and the community college. Planning for the camp began in earlier in the school year, with committee members working to decide which aspects of learning best fit the camp and its objective.
During this week’s camp, students were able to take a trip to the NASCAR Institute and Discovery Place, which provided a variety of information regarding auto mechanics and science exploration. According to Jackson, biotechnology was introduced to the students with multiple activities to support the importance of the technology in the world today.
Mid week, students took a tour of the community college, which provided students with an overview of the programs offered locally and how easily students can transfer to a variety of four-year colleges and universities.
“What an engaging and upbeat week for our rising ninth grade students,” Caroline Langston, middle grades curriculum coach for Sampson County Schools, said. “Exposing our students to the STEAM world has opened new doors and has allowed them to look into how the world integrates science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics into all aspects of life. This week’s activities provided our students with a global and cutting edge opportunity.”
Costs associated with the camp were paid for through sponsorships from Clinton-Sampson Rotary Club, Food Lion, Lockamy Insurance Agency, Sessoms Jewelry, Star Communications, Performance Dodge, Performance Ford, Prestage, Quality Equipment and Walmart.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.