New Camp Big Hit at Recreation Department
Southern Pines Recreation and Parks Department offered a new summer camp titled "Engineer Explorations."
This camp was designed for youth ages 7-10 and was held in early August.
"A group of young and aspiring engineers and scientists had the unique opportunity to design, make and test a variety of projects and experiment," says Sue Gillis, program coordinator of Southern Pines Recreation Department.
Engineer Explorations Camp was the culmination of approximately eight months of planning, testing and re-testing projects, and gathering supplies.
"In December 2009, I received a phone call from Maxwell Winter, who made an appointment with me during which he pitched his camp idea," says Gillis. "Part of his project was to raise money to purchase supplies, solicit sponsors, etc. I suggested he participate in our springtime Junior Flea Market as a way to help raise money by selling goods, and he was extremely successful in selling and marketing."
Winter is a sophomore at The O'Neal School. He has attended several engineering camps at N.C. State University and has a keen interest in math and science. A member of Boy Scout Troop No. 808, he is working on his Eagle Scout project.
As the date of the camp drew nearer, Winter wanted to test his projects, gain teaching experience and develop a timeline for the projects at camp.
"I suggested that he visit Summer Explorers camp and lead the projects for the campers," says Gillis. "This proved to be fun for the campers and a great experience for Maxwell."
Campers were challenged to build a "better bug" using simple material to withstand the most pressure. They tested air surface when they designed and tested their handmade tumbleweeds; building parachutes and airplanes were also on the agenda. The final day of camp featured a field trip to Reservoir Park, where the camp's young engineers made a Secchi disk to test water turbidity. These projects and many more introduced this group to environmental engineering, aerospace engineering, structural engineering and mechanical engineering.
"What started out as an Eagle Scout project has blossomed into ideas for more camps next summer," says Gillis.
For more information on activities offered by Southern Pines Recreation and Parks Department, visit www.southernpines.net/recreation.
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