East Grand Bahama MP brings “science” to summer campers

STEAM BASED SUMMER CAMP: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) were the order of the day at this year’s East Grand Bahama Summer Camp, hosted by the constituency’s Member of Parliament and Deputy Prime Minister Hon. K. Peter Turnquest. Turnquest had the opportunity to view some of the many pieces the students constructed during the camp close out this past Friday July 6 at The Eric Sam Centre. (PHOTO: DEREK KING)

Sixty-nine students between the ages of five through 14 were exposed to the many facets of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) during this year’s East Grand Bahama Summer Camp.

The week long event afforded the participants the unique opportunity to expand their horizons, by taking part in a highly interactive camp at which they created various pieces utilizing STEAM-based concepts.

Camp East Grand Bahama is the brainchild of the constituency’s Member of Parliament and Deputy Prime Minister K. Peter Turnquest. Last year’s camp focused on the ecosystems of The Bahamas, however this year’s theme was based specifically on STEAM, which exposed the students to the K’Nex Building System. The system allowed the students to construct various models such as roller-coasters and Ferris wheels.

Turnquest was interviewed following the camp close out this past Friday, July 6, at the Eric Sam Auditorium on the grounds of the Church of the Ascension.

“I am very pleased that we were able to put on the East Grand Bahama Summer Camp once again this year, and, expose the kids this year to science and engineering, in particular.

“Some of the models that the kids were able to build, were done basically from scratch. They used kits, learned some basic engineering principles, but also a lot about science and how different things that we do not necessarily associate with science, have an impact on our daily lives.

“The kids were able to express their artistic and creative sides, because, as you know, we have an economy that is based on both the industrial and the tourism side, the soft side. The camp gave them the opportunity to express both sides of that environment, which will hopefully pique their interest and hopefully assist in steering them into determining what their true calling and purpose is in life. Hopefully it will inspire them to be a little more committed in whichever discipline that they decide to go into in the future.

“The kids were very excited. I was very pleased that they seemed to have enjoyed themselves and to have learned a lot. The parents themselves, were commenting about how the kids were looking forward to going to the camp every day and so we were very pleased overall that it went well and the kids had a wonderful time.

“We will look at it again next year, to see if we can expand it a little more, to give more opportunity, making it even better, but, overall it went very well. I am very grateful to the instructors, who are in fact teachers, for giving their time to lead this camp. Their quality and interaction absolutely showed. They were able to present some wonderful musical interludes that they learned. It was just a wonderful time. I really enjoyed seeing what they did, and was happy to be able to participate and sponsor this camp.

“I was very impressed at how happy they seemed to have been. That was really great,” concluded Turnquest.

Camp instructors revealed that during the week the students were thoroughly engaged in the construction of their models, working in teams to solve problems through “discovery-learning and an inquiry-based approach.”

During the art sessions, students were also engaged in both visual and performing arts, creating pieces of artwork and crafts in the visual arts segment while engaging in performing arts, singing songs and learning simple songs to play on the recorder.

Students also had the opportunity to play outdoors and play board games during the final hour of each day.

Zinobia Mason, Science, Technology and Engineering Instructor,was impressed.

“The children had fun. They were very excited about it. It lends itself to note that not all children are interested in athletics, so this was something different for them. It was unusual in that and they truly enjoyed it,” said Mason.

A few of the participants shared their experiences.

Nine-year-old Cristina Cappellato appreciated the opportunity.

“It was really fun. We learned about teamwork. When we first started it was hard for us to work together but we all got along and made a big ferris wheel. Camp was very fun.”

She revealed that this was her first time participating in the East Grand Bahama Summer Camp but it will not be her last.

Alexander Doufe, a 10-year-old, stated: “It was fun learning about engineering and making things; that was one of the best parts for me.

Questioned what he and his fellow campers made he answered: “ We made the roller-coaster.”
“ First we started with the base and then we continued to build the entire roller-coaster. We worked as a team, four persons, including myself and it took us three days to construct.”
He too, is looking forward to attending again next year.

Fellow 10-year-old Ricardo Quant, gave more details about the roller-coaster project.

“Our roller-coaster was based on height and weight, from the bottom to top. In the process of construction the roller-coaster, we encountered some problems, but, by the end of the third day, we had a fully functional roller-coaster.

“This was the first time that I assisted in creating such a piece and I was pleased with the end result.

The camp’s template included the following:
Science, Technology and Engineering – Zinobia Mason, B.Ed, Dip. Ed
Arts and Crafts – Wanrea Roxbury, MSc, B.Ed. Dip. Ed
Music – Covena Murphy A.A., Dip. Ed

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