(WSVN) - The first day of school is just a couple of weeks away. One group of students will head back to class with a summer’s worth of science lessons already completed. 7’s Kevin Ozebek takes a look at how a “Camp Connection” offers an education they may not find at school.
A room inside a Miami Gardens community center is full of activity.
From the beeping of handmade drones, to the buzzing of 3-D printers, all of the gadgets, gizmos and submarines are all made by kids.
Allison, attending summer camp: “It’s pretty cool because, at my school, I don’t do any of this stuff.”
Nine-year-old Allison dreams of becoming an artist, but she’s learning how science and technology can help her with her art projects. She’s using a 3-D printer to create a mythological animal called a pegasus.
On a second printer, there is a 3-D version of a video game character taking shape.
Anike Sakariyawo, SEEK Foundation: “She was able to think of something that she wanted to come to reality, and she was able to do that using technology. The world is changing with technology, but they’ll have that background because they’ve been exposed to it.”
Allison and her friends created these projects at the STEAMtastic Summer Camp in Miami Gardens.
Ambry Johnson, SEEK Foundation: “The STEAMtastic Camp is a camp for students who are interested in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.”
This camp is the very first held by the SEEK Foundation. SEEK means “seeking education empowers knowledge.”
Anike Sakariyawo created the foundation in 2012. She started by offering science-based weekend and after-school projects to minority children and those who attend underperforming schools.
Anike Sakariyawo: “Based on the disparity gap, when it comes to STEM and/or STEAM education, there’s a huge gap between minorities and their peers.”
The SEEK Foundation is working to close that gap.
Anike Sakariyawo: “Exposing kids to different types of sciences, because not every child wants to build a robot, so we try to expose them to the art that’s in STEAM, whether it’s making your own Chapstick, being a chemist, making your own lotion, learning about viscosity.”
SEEK’s weekend and afterschool programs became such a hit here in the community, Anike and her crew decided to try offering a full-day summer camp.
Anike never expected the response she received after making the announcement.
Anike Sakariyawo: “We received applications from Broward, from different states: Atlanta, California, Texas.”
The STEAMtastic Camp offers weekly projects that teach students how science can play a part in everyday life.
Ambry Johnson: “We’re really pushing them to be innovative, think outside the box. ‘How can you make this better?'”
That was the task this group of girls took on as they teamed up to figure out how to fix their broken drone.
Ambry Johnson: “Unlocking that inner builder, that inner problem solver, that critical thinker.”
Staff members say it’s an honor to be able to mentor and educate children who live right in their own community.
Ambry Johnson: “And so, just to give that back, or give that encouragement to them, it warms my heart all the time.”
The SEEK Foundation recently began offering workshops in Georgia and plans to expand its summer camp program to four other states. They hope their “Camp Connection” sparks an interest in science for minority students across the country.
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