Future STEM students get a taste of what’s in store
By Denise Dick
Javon Kullum and Jose Santiago, both 12, and Antoine Sharpe and Kamron Jackson, both 11, huddled around a table in a Chaney Campus classroom, hard at work.
They are among 40 middle-school students in the Invention Project, a program for sixth-through-eighth-graders by Camp Invention, the National Inventors Hall of Fame in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark offices.
The camp for incoming Chaney Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program students ran this week at the school.
One group of students worked on Change Agent, to design a medicine delivery system, while next door, students worked in Holo-Games, where students developed game storylines and prototype avatars for video games.
The boys, all incoming sixth-graders, worked in Change Agent.
“It’s a nanobot,” Javon explained of the team’s device.
A patient would swallow it, prompting the nanobot to deliver the required medicine.
Javon registered for the five-day camp because “I like to build stuff.”
Antoine does, too.
“I like to put things together,” he said.
That’s why he chose to attend Chaney this fall.
“It was between here and Rayen Early College” Middle School, Antoine said. “I picked here.”
Kamron’s mother persuaded him to participate in the camp this week.
“My mom talked about how it would be really good to do this so I could get an idea of the kinds of things we’d be doing in school next year,” he said.
He likes math, science and technology and said he was having fun.
Pam Lubich, Chaney STEM coordinator, said the Raymond John Wean Foundation awarded the school a grant to offer the summer program, which is in its fifth year at the school.
The camp, which wrapped up Friday, ran from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Transportation was provided for the students as well as breakfast and lunch.
Each day is packed with activities designed to both teach and entertain.
Seventh-grader Kiarra Savage, 12, and Shaunta Davis, 11, a sixth-grader, worked on their individual projects to create characters for a video game.
“I’m making Minecraft people,” Kiarra said as she crafted a clay figure. “We’re making games.”
Shaunta is enjoying the activities.
“I have fun building stuff,” she said.
For her favorite activity, students made slime and took it home to play with.
Phillip Smith, 12, a sixth-grader, and seventh-grader Erick Martinez, 13, worked on their video-game avatars at the next table.
Phillip’s is a street fighter,
His favorite activity was early in the week when students made things.
“I made a helicopter,” Phillip said.
Erick made a bungee cord.
“It’s a rubber band and shelves on top” to jump off, he said.