Wallace State STEAM camp geared for younger students

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Wallace State Welding Instructor Melanie Patterson helps a student get a good score on the welding simulator during the college’s STEAM Camp for middle school students the week of July 24-28, 2023. (Tiffany McKoy)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State Community College recently hosted a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) Camp for middle school students.

According to WSCC Computer Science and Mathematics Department Secretary Bralee Glenn, the camp is designed to teach students early on that there are many career opportunities that don’t involve getting a four-year degree at a university.

“Many students aren’t aware of these jobs. It’s our goal to provide them with the information that these careers are out there,” Gleen said. “The goal is to get them started young and not wait until high school to expose them to STEM- or STEAM-related fields. We want to pique their interest when they’re younger; you get a lot more retention from them when they’re young as opposed to when they’re in high school.”

A few of the activities that the kids participated in included:

Criminal Justice with Dr. Thea Hall and Brandi Parker: The students learned about analyzing different fiber types, natural vs. manmade fibers, fingerprints and shoe prints. They used their knowledge of these items to “solve” a mock crime.

Graphic and Visual Arts with Adrian Scott and Ramone Daniel: The students learned the difference between a biped and a quadruped. They then had to draft up a design and piece together a figure using construction paper and pins based on their draft.

Welding with Melanie Patterson: The students learned about the different jobs for the welding profession. They were able to participate in a welding simulation and compete for the best score on the simulator program.

A graduation ceremony was held on the final day of camp, Friday, July 28, for the students to celebrate their accomplishments throughout the week.