STEM Camp science mix to include 3-D printing

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A group of campers from STEM Camp 2019

The following is a press release from University College of the Cayman Islands:

Three-dimensional printing and other science related activities are in store for participants in this year’s STEM Camp at the University College of the Cayman Islands. Now in its fifth year, the annual camp is part of an ongoing STEM push by UCCI.

This year’s camp, which is open to students entering years 7-9 in school, will be held Aug. 9-13. Applications open June 15 and camp director Antionette Gayle expects the 25 available spots to fill up quickly.

Prospective campers are asked to write a short essay in their applications about their learning goals and why science, technology, engineering and mathematics, STEM, is important to them.

Gayle, who teaches chemistry at UCCI, said 3-D printing has been part of the camp in the past and is returning this year with the acquisition of a new printer.

Gayle has been running the camp since it started in 2017 and each year demand has increased, she said. Last year’s camp, which was held when tight Covid-19 restrictions were in place, was comprised of a significant number of repeat attendees. This year, she’s hoping to see more first-time campers, so that more students are exposed to the programme.

She’s also hoping to expand the camp to take in more students in the future.

The students who attend, she said, get critical exposure to the importance of STEM in today’s world.

“I think it is extremely important to have this in the Cayman Islands,” Gayle said. “Students need to see that STEM impacts every area of their lives.”

It also provides an important boost in their educations, she said, which will help when they make it to UCCI or another college or university.

“We are building their capacity even before they come to us,” she said.

UCCI President and CEO Stacy McAfee said the successful STEM Camp is a great way to pique the interest of students who may want to pursue a STEM subject.

“So much is happening right now in Cayman in terms of the technology industry, as evidenced by the overwhelming success of our recent innovation tours,” McAfee said, referring to a program that introduced local entrepreneurs and investors to tech hubs and to UCCI. “The more we can support students with an interest in STEM subjects and encourage them in pursuing such fields, the more we can help in the process of nation building.”

There is a $200 charge for the STEM Camp. Cayman Enterprise City sponsors the camp and picks up the costs not covered by the registration fees. Students who attend the camp receive a pack of materials that includes a pass to the STEM Carib conference, held at UCCI Nov. 3-5.

Interested students can apply at stem.ky beginning June 15, or they can email stem@ucci.edu.ky

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