By Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The table was littered with Legos and small hands were busily putting them together in a very strategic order to make the biggest and best creation.
Children of Peterson Airmen who signed up for the STEM Camp at the R.P. Lee Youth Center learned about science, technology, engineering and math subjects and then created related projects from July 20 — 24, 2015.
This is the first year the camp was held and it was designed for kids to stretch their minds in the summer and to create things they may not get to do in school, said Kyle Hanchett, 21st Force Support Squadron child and youth program assistant. He said by getting a small dose of different subjects, it may open up new interests for them.
“Kids have the whole school year to have their nose in a book,” he said. “Here they are able to learn something, build it with their hands and see it work.”
Topics covered during this camp included computer programs, robotics, engineering and aerodynamics. Hanchett said kids got to build functional robots using Legos that could be hooked up to a computer to make them work. They also spent time building, artistically decorating and then flying both air planes and helicopters.
The best part of the STEM camp is the momentum and excitement the kids get while creating a project, Hanchett said. Once they learn about the subject and hear the directions for the project, they take-off full steam ahead, wheels churning and creativity pouring.
For the kids the best part is exactly the same thing, except they don’t realize how much they’re learning. The hands-on part is priority and in their mind, it’s just loads of fun building and creating things.
STEM subjects are important, especially in the military community, because parents are often deployed and kids may not get as many opportunities to develop new goals and hobbies, Hanchett said.
“It’s a good blend of education and fun,” he said. “The more influence for a good education, the better.”