HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – As the demand for programmers, coders and robotics engineers grows, so does the need to get kids learning about it at a younger age. The Robert C. Byrd Institute in Huntington held a week-long STEM camp to give students new ways to explore manufacturing and technology.
Kate Sullivan is getting ready to start her 10th grade year at Cabell Midland High School and she’s been at the RCBI STEM camp all week. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“I didn’t know engineering could be something I could do until high school,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan has been learning how to build and program her own computer.
“It’s kind of like a micro-computer,” Sullivan said. “It can be hooked up to a keyboard and something like a screen or a monitor and it’s pretty much like a portable mini-computer.”
Milton Middle School student Max Harrison has been at the camp all week, too. This future scientist says he can’t get enough of the 3D printing.
“I like 3D printing because it’s so cool,” Harrison said. “You make your own little toys and stuff you like.”
The RCBI STEM camp takes a different approach to keep students interested. There are no whiteboards. There are no books. Everything is hand-on, keeping the environment fun while students are still able to learn.
“We got to be actually hands-on with tools that I didn’t know we could’ve had access to,” Sullivan said.
Access to tools and knowledge many of these students didn’t have otherwise.
Harrison says even though he didn’t know he was coming to camp, he said it’s been worth it.
“Well, it wasn’t really my decision to come to this camp,” Harrison said. “My parents, they just sorta enrolled me and I just had to go with it, but in the end I had fun.”
As the world becomes more and more advanced, organizers say it’s camps like these that put kids ahead of the game in the fast-paced world of STEM.
Organizers say the STEM program at RCBI has been so successful they’ve even started on in Mingo County.
To find out more about RCBI click here.