Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
Summer vacation: a time to soak up the sun, hit the beach – and design an amusement park? Rising fourth and fifth-grade students at Neabsco Elementary School used their time and creative resources at this summer’s science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) camp to do just that.
From cost analysis and marketing, to creating and testing prototypes, the five-day camp provided students with hands-on activities that built interest and knowledge on STEAM related skills and principles. Campers spent each day devoted to a different aspect of STEAM. They worked in teams to design a park logo and merchandise, built a simulated roller coaster, and decided on how many employees they needed to hire to operate the park. Each day, teams presented their creations to their fellow campers.
Thanks to a partnership with One World, a non-profit organization formed by PWCS students, campers attended at no cost. One World was founded in 2018 by six PWCS high school juniors to teach, engage, and inspire youth and expose them to opportunities in STEAM fields. Through local summer camps, seminars, and conferences, the group hopes to inform students that they have the potential to be creative innovators, problem solvers, and researchers who can make an impact on the world.
The camp was led by Taryn Harrington, a PWCS elementary teacher. “I was honored to be a part of the first One World STEAM camp,” she said. “Having the opportunity to help the high school students’ vision come to life was a privilege. Watching the excitement unfold on the faces of the Neabsco students as each new task was presented proved that these high school students have started something special.”
Madlyn Asamoah, a rising fifth-grader, said, “I learned a lot of new things about STEAM. Learning about kinetic energy was my favorite part.”
Rising fifth-grader Samuel Zaragoza added, “It was pretty awesome!”