STEM Center offers new summer camp

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Eight students have embarked on a journey learning about renewable energy at the Inner Banks STEM Center, this summer. 

 

The Inner Banks STEM Center is a nonprofit organization focused on encouraging Beaufort County teens (who are at-risk or under-represented) to pursue careers in either science, technology, engineering or math – better known as STEM. The center is located across from the Washington Airport and was established in June of 2012. Funding from grants, county and city governments and private donations. 

 

Founder and President, Alvin Powell, said while renewable energy is an important topic in environmental studies, two goals of the summer camp are to get kids interested in STEM and showing them they can accomplish anything with an education. 

 

“But even more important… they can do anything they want to do as long as they decide to stay in school and they will see a reason despite all the COVID-19 ramifications why education is still the best way to get ahead no matter what their circumstances are,” Powell said. 

 

For the next two weeks, students will learn about sources of renewable energy like water, wind and sun. They will focus on solar energy, wind turbines and hydroelectric dams in addition to learning how artificial intelligence can maximize the efficiency of renewable energy. Monday, June 13 was the first day of camp. Students spent the morning developing a hypothesis about which renewable energy source will best match a geographic location they were given. On the last day of camp, they will present their findings to friends and family members. 

 

The STEM center purchased an 80lbs mobile planetarium complete with a geology based software program to provide students with a visual aid. Ray Midgett, a former high school science educator, teaches students about elements inside Earth. 

 

Later this week, representatives from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University will give students a presentation on hydroelectric dams. Next week, students will learn about solar energy and build solar powered cars then they will hear a presentation on wind turbines. In addition, they will take a field trip to the Aurora Fossil Museum and to East Carolina University. 

 

To supply a practical application of the camp, Powell and instructors teach students the types of jobs they can apply for later in life whether at a power plant or becoming an electrician. 

 

This year’s renewable energy camp was free to qualified students; however, their popular and sold out aviation and boating camps cost $600. Full scholarships are available. For more information, visit ibxstem.org.