3-D printers, potter wheels, and robot wars, welcome to Camp Craven, a series of day camps focused on the discovery of new talents with a side of fun. The camps vary in topic from pottery to mad scientist to drones. Camper Colby Whisnet asked to go to bed early so that he could get to the drone lab early to start on his 3-D printer design of a fidget spinner.
Children starting in first grade all the way up to ninth grade can participate in the fun. Payden Kitchen, a participant in Ceramics Camp, said “I liked that you could be any skill level and they could teach you new techniques. The teachers were nice. They gave you enough time to finish your work.” The Ceramics Camp taught middle school aged kids how to throw bowls and the dynamics of glazes.
I have come up through the camps starting with the NC State Middle School Engineering Camp. Personally, I enjoyed that at the camp I was given a creative space to work and design. Everyone was given half a table covered in paper, a hot glue gun, and the challenge of the day. And I absolutely loved it. The camp was free rein to sketch out my designs and think “out of the box” to solve a puzzle with limitations and constraints that mimicked real world issues. It helped light a passion to learn and discover.
Now as a counselor, I can help kids like me do the same. The STEM Robotics camp was a great example of that. Campers would team up and build a cardboard ‘bot that could best the others in a competition of some sort. Every day was different. One day was an obstacle course; the next a “sumo wrestling” tournament were the campers would try to build a bot push their opponents bot out of a square. It was a privilege to watch the scientific method be applied by these future researchers, doctors, and teachers. The sky truly is the limit for what these kids will be able to do.
Sarah Kate Childs, Early College EAST senior
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.