2014 Mindbender Academy STEM Camp – "Gaining STEaM"

June 5th, 2014
Author: Peter Burns, PMP, Alcatel-Lucent Fixed Network Division

This is our 7th year to deliver "Mindbender Academy", a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) camp targeting middle school age students. We believe it is important to target this age group because this is when they start making decisions about their interests and possible careers. Mindbender Academy gives us the space to share career opportunities that are available in STEM with the participants. This year, we are including Arts in Technology in hopes of inspiring and encouraging creativity in our students.

We recognize that many of our young people are choosing not to pursue STEM educational programs or careers. We would like to change this trend through their participation in the Mindbender Academy STEM camp. It is important for us to understand that, as our nation focuses on STEM careers for our young people, it should be equally clear that the business community has to play a role in the educational process of our students. We cannot expect our teachers to do it by themselves or on their own.

"In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past." (National Science Foundation)

It is clear that STEaM careers will fuel the global economy in the future therefore, we have to encourage our students to embrace STEaM as part of their educational programs in school.

We are finalizing the curriculum for this year’s program which includes educational programs from organizations such as Alcatel-Lucent, Raytheon, CoServ, Collin College, Museum of the American Railroads, Frisco Police Department, Frisco ISD, the Society for Information Management and NASA engineers. Our program will challenge students with creative and innovative lessons that are sure to spark their interest in Science, Technology Engineering, Arts and Math.

Mindbender Academy is a program of the Frisco Education Foundation specifically for Frisco ISD 6th, 7th and 8th graders. This year’s camp will host 400 students and registration filled in one hour and 45 minutes with 120 students on the waiting list. Visit http://www.friscoisd.org/ly/community/FEF/Programs.htm for additional information on the camp and watch the video below:

* Images from last year’s edition of the camp.

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