Summertime, STEAM Time

UW-Stout's program focusing on tech and arts is now open to middle schoolers

Pam Powers

FULL STEAM AHEAD! Students edit video as part of the UW-Stout Summer STEAM experience camp.
FULL STEAM AHEAD! Students edit video as part of the UW-Stout Summer STEAM experience camp.

A UW-Stout Summer STEAM Experience camp will welcome younger students this year for day camps. Sixth- and seventh-graders can take part in the summer youth camp in the following tracks: Industrial Design, Infinite World of Plastics, Sculpture Design, and Wood is Good.

The camp is Sunday, June 16, through Thursday, June 20, and has 13 tracks overall focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

Younger students are welcome as day campers in the designated tracks. Students in eighth to 12th grade may choose to take part in the day camp or stay overnight on campus.

“This is a great opportunity for students to experience campus life with all these amazing program offerings taught by our expert faculty.” – Anna McCabe, program manager of the Summer STEAM Experience Camp

“This is a great opportunity for students to experience campus life with all these amazing program offerings taught by our expert faculty,” said Anna McCabe, program manager of the Summer STEAM Experience Camp. “We have a lot of fun activities planned. It will be a great experience for all campers.”

On Sunday, June 16, an introductory day camp in the afternoon lets campers experience the Ropes Challenge Course. Day camps run from 8:35am to 4:15pm; campers will be in labs and classrooms with faculty. Overnight campers stay in dormitories and experience cafeteria dining and on-campus living. A STEAM Camp showcase is scheduled from 4 to 5pm on Thursday, June 20, for parents and other family members to see campus and what campers have been working on all week.

The STEAM Camp started in 2018 after two camps that started in 2016 – STEM, and Art and Design – combined. STEAM day camp is free to students in the Menomonie school district through a partnership with the district. Students can choose to stay overnight for an additional $150. The Eau Claire school district also allows some students to attend free based on funding available. However, the number for this year’s camp has been reached, McCabe said. Cost to attend the camp is $450 for overnight and $300 for day camp.

A new track this year is 3D Modeling in Maya: Robot Design taught by Nathan Clark, animation and 3D modeling instructor in the School of Art and Design. Students will learn to model, texture, and render memorable, believable robots in 3D space.

A track on technology engineering taught by Paul Craig, lecturer in the engineering and technology department, and David Ding, associate professor in the operations and management department, will focus on technologies used in future manufacturing such as robotics and automatic inspection.

Other tracks that are still open include: Interior Design (Maureen Mitton, design), Sculpture Design (Molly Uravitch, art and art history), Wood is Good (Jerry Johnson, engineering and technology), Industrial Design (Jennifer Astwood, industrial design), The Infinite World of Plastics: materials, mold and processing, (Wei Zheng, plastics engineering program), Board Game Workshop (Jay Little, design), 3D Printing and Jewelry (Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro, art and art history).

Zheng, director for the plastics engineering program, believes the STEAM camp helps UW-Stout promote and showcase the university’s programs to the community and helps attract students. “Exposing the programs to younger kids allows them to start thinking about their interests and their future career paths,” Zheng said.

In the plastics engineering tracks, students will learn basic material selection, product design and make some plastic products using various techniques, Zheng said.

To learn more about the program or to register, visit tinyurl.com/UWStoutSTEAM.

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