Having a field day: Brookhaven STEM Enrichment camp visits Co-Lin

Published 2:02 pm Thursday, June 22, 2023

WESSON — Students from Brookhaven School District’s STEM Enrichment Camp yelled with excitement as they competed to knock buckets, electrical boxes and a spray bottle off with a robot arm at Co-Lin. It was one of the many fun days in the month-long camp for students between 4th and 3rd grade. 

Leah Ann Peavey, a Polymer Science Instructor at Brookhaven Technology Center, has led the camp for the second year. The last week for camp is next week. Students learn a little bit of everything about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. 

“It is a great experience,” she said. “They get to see and do what they may not see for years until they get to high school.” 

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Thursday’s field trip to Co-Lin exposed the students to robots originally from the Nissan Plant in Canton, Mississippi to 3D printing, a thermal reading gun and the stress strength of different materials. Students started their morning with Mandy Case to learn about automation and control engineering. Alvin Giddens took the controls of one of the robots. 

“We have done some coding today. It has been pretty fun,” he said. “I really liked learning about everything here. There is a lot of stuff I find interesting. It has been a lot of fun going to camp.” 

Giddens volunteered some time with other students to try and get a trebuchet catapult to work. While they had some success firing a golf ball down the hallway of the Smith Hall building, they could not get it to work to the quality they wanted. 

Reed Freeman showed students how 3D printing worked, the tensile strength of aluminum, steel, brass and polymer and temperature reading using a thermal sensor gun. Freeman invited students to take to the whiteboard and teach him something. 

Olivia Watkins immediately took to the board to show how long multiplication worked. She quickly solved the problem as other students wrote out long division equations and others drew a complex flower. She said the students joined the STEM camp through an invitation at school. 

“We got called up to the office and they gave us a paper. It told us we could do the camp and now here we are,” she said. “I enjoy making new things and learning new things. We have learned about polymers and metals. Worked with catapults and robots. We made stepping stones in ceramics. We are going to miss camp.” 

Watkins said she dreams of being a chef or veterinarian one day. Giddens said he is unsure what he wants to do but he has plenty of time to figure it out. He added he will miss camp when it ends next week. 

“We are going to miss Mrs. Peavey. She has been fun and the teacher who taught us all of this,” Giddens said.