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  • Writer's pictureStep Ahead Tech

Third Annual Tech and Leadership Summer Camp

Updated: May 18, 2022

This month we held our annual summer camp for the third year, after being forced to cancel the program due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Over the course of the week, students ages 9 to 17 built fundamental professional skills and were introduced to various STEM and Technology concepts, including basic coding, software design, interview and resume skills, the engineering design process, and more!

In one of the activities, the students were asked to build bridges out of toothpicks and tape. The objective is to take these materials and work together as a team to build a structurally functional bridge that is capable of holding weight. The students were not given any other instruction and were left to their own creative freedom in terms of styling the bridge. Groups were given a set amount of time in which they could build their bridge and the one that could hold the most weight won. This activity combines physics, engineering, and math skills to design the bridge.

Here, the students were given a battery, a small brush, a pipe cleaner, two wires, and some tape. The students were told that with these materials they should be able to make a moveable “hex bug” that is powered by the battery and able to travel in a straight line. In the first half of the time, the students were left to try their best and create a model without any further instruction. Many groups found ways to power the bug, however had trouble with keeping the structure as a whole. In the second half of time, the students were shown a model bug that was built correctly and were left with the rest of the time to duplicate it. In the end, the groups raced their bugs and the first one to reach the end of the table won. This activity engages their engineering, critical thinking, and problem solving skills.

In this activity, the students were taught about the Software Design Life Cycle through acting as members of their own product design team.The goal of this design team was to create a product that best fit the “business owner’s” request. This task tested the student’s creativity as they had to create new, innovative ideas that efficiently fulfill the request of the owner. This also tested their team working abilities as they had to work as a team and deliver their product together. Two examples of some of the products that were made were a pop up “doll” that would help customers navigate the website easier, another product was creating a form for hiring new employees.

We feel so grateful that we were able to have this program up and running and in person again this year and look forward to hosting more programs in the near future. Please feel free to follow us on social media @stepaheadtech365 to stay up to date on our upcoming events!

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