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SciTEC summer camp fun for all

June 30, 2016
VINCENT

VINCENT

 

Peyton Potter
Staff Reporter | jpp017@ latech.edu

Each summer, Louisiana Tech’s Science and Technology Education Center (SciTEC) partners with organizations in Louisiana and surrounding states to provide local children with a safe and educational day camp.

Lindsey Keith-Vincent, director of SciTEC, said this year’s partnerships create a number of opportunities for the program’s students to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a hands-on way.

“We partner with ‘Bricks4Kidz’ to do STEM-focused camps in the summer which serve students from age two to late middle school or early high school,” she said. “We also partner with Red Stick Robotics out of Baton Rouge, and we are offering three camps the third week of July related to coding and programming in robotics.”

Although the SciTEC summer programs namely work with local schoolchildren, Keith-Vincent said the program has also partnered with the Louisiana Center for the Blind.

Alfred D’Agostino, a professor of chemistry at Notre Dame of Maryland University who teaches summer courses at Tech, said his courses at SciTEC help prepare visually-impaired students for college-level science courses.

“A lot of what I’m focusing on has to do with confidence building, leadership, critical thinking and problem solving,” he said. “In other words, to let them know that they can do science experiments if they were to take a science course in college.”

D’Agostino said he felt compelled to help visually-impaired students as a result of his own experiences as a blind professor..

“I, myself, have a vision limitation,” he said. “I am a legally blind professional. I recognize that there is a great need in making science instruction accessible to blind students. That is what got me involved win a hands-on basis.”

Bricks4Kidz director Sarah Wages said students enjoy the practical learning opportunities the Lego robots provide.

“We are building robots; we are doing missions; we are doing other engineering challenges like tower-building,” she said. “The robots are performing different missions like traveling to certain missions. It is lots of problem solving and building and design. It’s been good so far; they’re having fun.”

Keith-Vincent said SciTEC’s summer STEM camps, which are offered each June and July, are a collection of unique programs that teach students to think differently.

“Our SciTEC team and community partners work collaboratively to provide unique, engaging, and fun educational opportunities that motivate students to explore exciting STEM concepts,” she said. “We enjoy using interdisciplinary strategies to inspire our kiddos to try new things and creatively solve real-world problems.”

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