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STEM Camp inspires military youth

Students participating in the STEM Camp participate in a field trip to Challenger Learning Center for the Voyage to Mars simulation in Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 3, 2016. The camp taught the value of design thinking, building confidence with technology through problem solving and individual learning experiences. (Courtesy photo)

Students participating in the STEM Camp participate in a field trip to Challenger Learning Center for the Voyage to Mars simulation in Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 3, 2016. The camp taught the value of design thinking, building confidence with technology through problem solving and individual learning experiences. (Courtesy photo)

Students work on an engineering computer project at a STEM Camp at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Aug. 4, 2016. The camp taught the value of design thinking, building confidence with technology through problem solving and individual learning experiences (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

Students work on an engineering computer project at a STEM Camp at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Aug. 4, 2016. The camp taught the value of design thinking, building confidence with technology through problem solving and individual learning experiences (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

Carol Rieping, STARBASE Academy teaching assistant, helps students with an engineering project during the STEM Camp at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Aug. 4, 2016. A field trip to Challenger Learning Center for the Voyage to Mars simulation was also part of the camp. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

Carol Rieping, STARBASE Academy teaching assistant, helps students with an engineering project during the STEM Camp at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Aug. 4, 2016. A field trip to Challenger Learning Center for the Voyage to Mars simulation was also part of the camp. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

Joe Christ, 12, and Jonah Illsley, 11, work together on a submarine engineering project using computer software at a STEM Camp on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Aug. 4, 2016. The camp partnership with the STARBASE Academy and Colorado 4-H brought together students from around the country to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

Joe Christ, 12, and Jonah Illsley, 11, work together on a submarine engineering project using computer software at a STEM Camp on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Aug. 4, 2016. The camp partnership with the STARBASE Academy and Colorado 4-H brought together students from around the country to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

Jared Stiller, 13, and Ajeante’ Sumpter, 12, work together on a submarine engineering project at a STEM Camp at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Aug. 4, 2016. The camp taught science, technology, engineering and mathematics to students from around the country in a hand-on learning environment over the course of one week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

Jared Stiller, 13, and Ajeante’ Sumpter, 12, work together on a submarine engineering project at a STEM Camp at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Aug. 4, 2016. The camp taught science, technology, engineering and mathematics to students from around the country in a hand-on learning environment over the course of one week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

A student of the STEM Camp follows along with the instructions while building a submarine using computer software at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Aug. 4, 2016. The camp partnership with the STARBASE Academy and Colorado 4-H brought together students from around the country to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

A student of the STEM Camp follows along with the instructions while building a submarine using computer software at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Aug. 4, 2016. The camp partnership with the STARBASE Academy and Colorado 4-H brought together students from around the country to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Showing youth how to create technology instead of simply using it was the goal of the Air Force Services Activity Child and Youth Programs 2016 STEM Camp. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The camp was held Aug. 1-5 at the STARBASE Academy on Peterson Air Force Base in partnership with Colorado 4-H. There were 24 6- 8 graders in attendance for the five-day camp, said Chett Kline, Peterson AFB Airman & Family Services Flight chief.

The program introduced campers to a variety of activities aimed at hands-on experiences. Programs relates to circuits, robotics, molecular models, engineering design, computer aided design and 3-D printing.

The camp taught the value of design thinking, building confidence with technology through problem solving and individual learning experiences. A field trip to Challenger Learning Center for the Voyage to Mars simulation was part of the program as well.

“I thought it was a pretty cool experience,” said Dominic Herrera, 12. “It’s cool that the Air Force (offered the camp) so kids could learn new things. It was good how teachers got to teach us all this stuff and we got to do projects in between.”

Herrera said he enjoyed the Voyage to Mars and the opportunity to work with robotics.

“I’ve been dreaming about doing robotics for so long, and now I got to do it,” he said.

The Voyage to Mars simulation was popular with many of the campers. It featured the campers becoming the actual crew of a ship inhabiting Mars and allowed for exploration of the red planet and operating the space ship.

“It was a lot of fun to experience what astronauts would experience and go through,” said Alexandra Manion, 12. “(The camp) was fun and I learned a lot. If I had a chance for another STEM camp, I would go to it again.”

The Air Force partners with 4-H to offer STEM camps, as well as other camps for military youth and families each year.

For more information visit:

Air Force Youth Programs - http://www.myairforcelife.com/youth/YouthCamps.aspx

4-H - http://4-hmilitarypartnerships.org/military-family/dod_usda/2015-military-camps/2015-camps/index.html

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