Jersey Shore hosts STEM camp

PHOTO PROVIDED Jersey Shore Area School District recently hosted at STEM camp. At top, students use NASA solar glasses donated by NASA Goddard. The students learned how to safely observe the sun and the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

The Jersey Shore Area School District recently hosted KSEA’s STEM Camp for students entering grades four through nine. The NASA curriculums were divided into two groups, grades four and five and grades six through nine. Students spent the week being active learners working as scientists and engineers practicing hands-on inquiry, project and problem-based learning through NASA’s Beginning Engineering Science and Technology (BEST) engineering design process. The week’s topics included design challenges involving: engineering, aeronautics, rocketry, robotics and Earth and space science. The week gave students a unique opportunity to use problem-solving skills to design, build, test and redesign their ideas.

The camp was held at Jersey Shore Area High School. 185 students attended the free camp that was funded by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania with a grant awarded from the Roscoe M. and Edith M. Wolf Fund. The camp was visited by one of Lonza’s chemical engineer’s Brad Sutliff for a Chemistry Chelamity Presentation and by Lock Haven University’s chairperson of chemistry Dr. Kevin Range. Kevin Harris from Willamsport Area High School and KSEA also provided a blast with his rocket launch assistance and demonstration during our parent showcase on Friday.

The Keystone STEM Education Alliance (KSEA), a 501 C3 organization, was created to provide and support quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professional development and student programs in Central Pennsylvania school districts. KSEA was formed by teachers from area school districts.

STEM education is critical to the future growth of the United States in an increasingly global market. The number of Americans entering STEM fields have declined while the number of jobs requiring STEM training has grown. This need, along with dwindling funding, spurred the formation of KSEA.

The KSEA board is comprised of Dr. David Morgan, project coordinator and president; Kevin Harris, vice president and Williamsport Area High School science teacher; Jodi English, treasurer and Jersey Shore Area High School math teacher; Dr. Edie Shull, secretary and Muncy High School science teacher; Dr. John Tamblin, East Lycoming School District high school science teacher; and Desmond Shaffer, board member and Milton Area School District elementary science teacher.