CAMS to host a West Point technology workshop

FLINT TWP. — Forty middle school students will get a taste of a West Point education at a skill-building workshop to be held next month at Carman-Ainsworth Middle School.

For the first time, CAMS is hosting a West Point 2012 Mobile STEM Workshop sponsored by The West Point Center for Leadership and Diversity in STEM, the West Point Society of Michigan and the Seeds of Humanity Foundation.

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics which have been cited as 21st century skills educators say all students will need to compete and thrive in the future. West Point faculty and cadets travel around the United States conducting workshops in underserved areas to interest primarily middle school students in STEM-related fields.

CAMS is one of 21 middle schools in Michigan and one of only two in Genesee County participating in the 2011-12 STEM pilot program. Its goal is to provide projectbased learning in STEM subjects across subject matter. An interdisciplinary STEM leadership team selected at each participating school includes a science, math, social studies, English and special education teacher. They are required to attend several training conferences during the course of the pilot and also to meet all project requirements including designing two project-based learning units per semester to actively engage students in STEM subjects.

In the West Point Workshop at CAMS students will build a K’nex model bridge and test its strength using a computer software design. They also will explore the technology of a Roomba vacuum cleaner, build a robotics system and program it to perform using software.

Students participating in the workshop have not been selected yet but not all of them will be CAMS students, said Kevin Summey, CAMS principal. Notices are being sent out to school districts to announce the workshop and select participants, he said. The hands-on workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 18 at CAMS, 1409 W Maple Ave.

In the ongoing STEM program at CAMS, students have been involved in projects involving problem-solving, developing healthful eating and exercise plans and climate change debate, according to a presentation to the school board by CAMS STEM project coordinators Jill Osborn and Lesley Laforest-Gould.

Summey commended the teachers for the amount of time spent on the STEM project which includes lots of work outside of school, he said.

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