Kids have science-based fun at camp

JERSEY SHORE — The Jersey Shore Area School District hosted KSEA’s STEM Camp this summer for students entering grades four through nine. It was held the week of July 31 to Aug. 4.

The curriculum came from NASA and was presented to two groups, kids in grades four and five and those in grades six to nine. Students spent the week being active learners, working as scientists and engineers, practicing hands-on inquiry, learning through projects and problem-solving, and using NASA’s Beginning Engineering Science and Technology (BEST) process.

The week gave the students a unique opportunity to design, build, test, and redesign their ideas. Design challenges involved engineering, aeronautics, rocketry, robotics, and earth and space science.

The free camp was held at the high school, and 185 children and young people attended. The students had a wonderful week and were excited to return each day.

The camp was funded by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania with a grant awarded from the Roscoe M. and Edith M. Wolf Fund.

Brad Sutliff, one of Lonza Inc.’s chemical engineers, gave a “Chemistry Chelamity” presentation, and Dr. Kevin Range, Lock Haven University’s chair of chemistry, also participated. Kevin Harris from Williamsport Area High School and KSEA provided a blast with his rocket launch assistance and demonstration during the parent showcase held that Friday.

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

STEM education has been called critical to the future growth of the United States in an increasingly global market. The number of Americans entering STEM fields has 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 members are David Morgan, Ed.D., 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; Edie Shull, Ed.D., secretary and Muncy Junior/Senior High School science teacher; John Tamblin, Ed.D., high school science teacher in East Lycoming School District; and Desmond Shaffer, Milton Area School District elementary science teacher.