Hope Center Offers Free S.T.E.M. Camp

Local News

Roanoke City students are on summer break.  Now, Summer camp for youngsters at the Hope Center involves solving problems and designing for the future.  
They’re exposing Roanoke City Youth to technology and engineering at no cost. 

Monday, five-year-old, Carmello designed his first bridge. 

“I made this diagonal because the bridge can’t fall.”

“We want to make support beams and stuff so it would sit up by itself,” said another young participant, Chance Price.

It’s just one of many projects the youngsters will take on during this week’s S.T.E.M. camp.  S.T.E.M. stands for, Science, Technology, engineering and math.  They’re all areas Chioma Adaku-Griffin, CEO of Engineering for Kids says are practical for every-day life. 
“It’s very important that they learn to work as a team, that they learn to think by themselves.”

Griffin says activities like this enhance critical thinking.  “They get to use their engineering design process where they ask what problem do I have, let’s brain storm on fixing it,” she said.
“Technology; we all have cell phones, so we all use apps.  Engineering, we solve problems everyday of our life {and} science is in everything as well.”

Building a volcano and creating robots are among the activities on the planner for kids this week. 

“I just felt it would be really important to bring this into the area to expose kids to something different,” said Hope Center Director, Grover Price.

He says Roanoke City kids don’t get a lot of exposure to these thinking tools in the classroom or at home.

“We want to show them how the controller controls the game {and} we want them to actually learn why things work.”

Working with the community to host camps like these hits close to home for the Roanoke native. He believes creating these positive learning environment keeps will keep youth off the street and reroute their paths to success. 

“We’re losing them to dropping out of school, we’re losing them to being murdered, we’re losing them to so many different things,” Price said.  “I’m tired of just watching our kids just go, fall by the wasteside and be left out, be left behind.  so it’s really important for me to show these kids that we love them and show them that we care about them.”

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