This summer, some local kids will get the chance to build a shutter glider alongside NASA personnel.
In an effort to address the nation’s need for better education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), NASA started the Summer of Innovation program last year.
This August, the week-long NASA space camp, funded by a federal grant, is reaching schools nationwide. Roxborough High School, along with three other Philadelphia schools, has been selected to host the free summer space camp.
NASA’s summer camp focuses on guiding underrepresented and underserved middle school students toward STEM careers.
Roxborough High School applied for the Math and Science in Pennsylvania Grant (PA3-MSP) from NASA last year to address an ongoing need in the classroom.
“My students definitely do struggle in math and science,” said Roxborough High School science teacher Erika McFadden.
Campers will learn about earth science, aeronautics, robotics, rocketry and space science from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week. They will have the opportunity to build a shuttle glider, create robots from toothbrushes and design experiments testing UV exposure. NASA employees will pay visits to campers in astronaut suits and even bring along a miniature rocket.
Students grades 5 through 10 from various Philadelphia public schools will participate in the camp from Aug. 1 through 5. All 40 seats have already been filled up for this summer, but parents can look out for fliers in their child’s school and library for enrolling in next summer’s program.
“I think it’s really important,” McFadden said of the summer camp. “Because if they can have just one good experience here, that can help influence them throughout the school year and in their education.”
NASA’s Summer of Innovation supports President Obama’s Educate to Innovate campaign for excellence in STEM.