This week Iowa 4-H youth were able shoot for the moon as they participated in Astro Camp events June 14-18.
Astro Camp gives all youth the chance to get involved in and experience science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Astro Camp lessons help youth foster career dreams of tomorrow and develop life-changing goals through STEM skills. These events inspire future astronauts and engineers to learn about space with NASA unique activities.
Winneshiek County Astro Camp concluded on Monday with a positive camp experience. “The youth got to experience hands-on activities that fostered creativity and a collaborative team approach,” noted Liz Siepker, K-12 program coordinator, Winneshiek County. “Youth developed mission patches, habitat structures, designed helmets to keep an egg safe during a launch, made sun paper, and launched paper rockets.”
Winneshiek County Astro Camp participants thought the lessons included the right amount of advanced material as well as basic information related to space exploration. “My favorite lesson was the stomp rocket launcher with the altitude tracker using math to calculate the distance the rocket traveled,” said one youth participant.
“The activities in the Astro Camp curriculum allowed students to be as creative as they wanted,” said Winneshiek County intern Kayla Burke. “It was great to see all the ideas they were able to develop and the different approaches they took to designing mission patches, building space helmets for the egg drop and inventing habitats for living on Mars!”
Astro Camp is made possible through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Iowa 4-H Youth Development and statewide STEM partners, including NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium, Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Science Center of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Putnam Museum and Science Center, and Iowa PBS.
Sara Nelson is 4-H STEM program specialist and assistant director of education and outreach for the Iowa Space Grant Consortium. Nelson said, “Astro Camp showcases the important role partnerships play in delivering high-quality STEM education across the state. We are proud to be collaborating with so many outstanding STEM educators to provide this opportunity. It is very exciting to see so many youth being active and engaged with STEM.”
For more information on Astro Camp visit the Iowa 4-H website.