North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

July 17, 2012

WSCC hosts STEM camp


North Jefferson News

HANCEVILLE — Wallace State Community College hosted its sixth annual Science Engineering and Mathe­matics (STEM) Camp last month for area high school juniors and seniors, familiarizing the students with a variety of technical programs and allowing them to tour the Topre plant in Cullman and the Nissan Motor Company plant in Smyrna, Tenn., among other activities.

STEM camp, which is funded through the National Science Foundation, is designed to promote interest in science, engineering and math technology and to persuade students to embark on an educational career after high school, especially those interested in advanced technical jobs.

Wallace State STEM camp participants opened the first day of camp by engaging in projects in the WSCC Electronics Department, including a soldering activity and programming robots. They spent the afternoon touring a variety of technical programs on campus.

Off campus, the STEM camp agenda included tours of the Nissan production plant in Smyrna, Tenn., and of local industries, including Topre America in Cullman, a Japanese-based automotive manufacturing company.

“It was a fun and informative week,” said Christopher Cole. “I enjoyed all of the tours, especially learning more about the tool and die aspects of the car industry. I believe each person here benefited from the camp.”

Wallace State instructors in Electronics, Drafting, Machining, Automotive Service Technology, Collision Repair, Welding, Upholstery, Agriculture/

Horticulture, and Heating and Air Conditioning each led or aided STEM camp sessions with the assistance of WSCC career coaches Elizabeth Moore, Brenda Johnson and Jennifer Helton.

“We had a fantastic week at STEM Camp. Our students learned how to program and use robots that are used in today’s industries. We traveled to several industries where the students saw those same types of robots at work. The students were able to see how vehicles are built and the advanced manufacturing and science that make up the automotive industry,” Moore said. “Many thanks go to CARCAM (Consortium for Alabama Regional Center for Automotive Manufacturing) for sponsoring the week, the local industries who allowed us to tour their facilities and to the multiple instructors across campus for making the camp a positive, learning experience for our students.”

 The four-day camp concluded with the students showing their parents the progress they had made through presentations and activities. Students attended this year from Cullman, Etowah, Jefferson, Marshall and Morgan Counties.