STEM Camp gets the brain juices flowing

STEM Camp gets the brain juices flowing

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - A certain scientific buzz was coming out of Trafton Hall on Minnesota State University, Mankato’s campus Thursday.

The last of four summer camps on campus, a STEM engineering camp, needed these campers to build, create and think up a complex machine.

“This is school but you can’t really tell them that,” said Camp Director Jonathan Trzepkowski. "We just basically kept the roof, blew the doors off it and we’re taking what they learned and taking it out into the real world.”

Sam Verly, a camp veteran, likes the creative aspect of this camp compared to the others that came before it.

“This camp has mostly been a lot more hands on" Verly said. "Right now we are building machines that are Rube Goldberg machines, so they are really complex.”

Their goal?

“Set out a bait bowl for the local Sasquatch that’s running loose in the woods,” Trzepkowski said.

A Rube Goldberg machine is intentionally designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and overcomplicated fashion.

Basically, these kids were creating anything that they could deem useful in a task getting the wheels in their head turning.

“Seeing the kids eyes light up when we’ve talked about hydraulic forces and fluids and Pascal’s Law and all this stuff, and then we’re like, well OK, let’s build a hydraulic robot arm and their eyes light up and they get to move it and make it happen," Trzepkowski added. "Seeing that connection from learn to do is really the best part of the camp for me.”

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