Studio STEM/ICAT Summer Camp

Middle school students from southwest Virginia participated in a four day camp to save the seabirds by designing and building a solar car made of Legos that would pull seabird eggs over sand dunes in summer 2013. Four middle school teachers in STEM disciplines participated in the event for professional development and to learn how they could implement the curricula into their own formal classroom settings during the 2013-14 academic year. Teachers from the school sites had positive feedback about the curriculum engaging the students, keeping their attention, and offering the ability to tie the curriculum to other content areas that the students had already learned in and out of school time. Suggestions included offering a more diverse set of activities for various learners and their needs, using more durable materials for the audience with the Lego’s and motors, and providing more visual examples to help guide students through the process if they find themselves having difficulty. Three undergraduate researchers collected, analyzed and are publishing manuscripts and poster presentations from the results of the camp as a case study to investigate what motivated students to persist with the task of building the solar car.

Members: 
Name Department College
Michael A. Evans School of Education College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
Tiffany Drape    
15 students   Middle School
4 Teachers   Middle School
Undergrad Researchers    
Collaborative Colleges: 
Liberal Arts & Human Sciences
Studio: 
Grant