Students use STEM skills to pop balloon, problem solve

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – During the summer, parents sometimes have to force kids away from their gadgets. But at one summer camp, it’s the kids who are creating the machines.

At the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers or TCACL learning goes on, even while school is out.

These middle school students are putting their heads together and their skills on the table.

They created Rube Goldberg machines. Those are a complicated machine that carries out a simple task.

At the camp, the students were tasked with creating a machine that could pop a balloon. Students were only limited by their own imaginations.

The five day STEM camp gave students a chance to do hands-on learning they don’t always get during the school year.

USD 501 math teacher, Cherryl Delacruz, who helped facilitate the camp said it provided students with a “productive struggle.”

“…Teachers are just guiding them (students) to solve that problem and asking good questions and they investigate to get to that answer,” said Delacruz. “That is so empowering and that’s what learning should be.”

The camp was put on in conjunction with the University of Kansas School of Education.

KU faculty were at the camp to provide feedback for teachers on ways they could improve their skills in the classroom.

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