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N. Lehigh STEAM camp mixes fun, education

They listen, they watch, they learn.

In doing so, they are able to gain a greater appreciation for the prospective careers that could one day await them.

Learning activities galore awaited the anxious students, who signed up for Northern Lehigh School District’s sixth Annual STEAM summer camp.

Under the guidance and sponsorship of the Northern Lehigh Education Foundation and local businesses, the camp is open to students of the district entering third through eighth grade in the 2024-2025 school year.

STEAM Summer Camp provides students with student-centered, project-based and inquiry-driven opportunities to investigate careers, conduct experiments, and expand their understanding of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

STEAM Summer Camp began Monday and ran through Thursday of this week. It then continues Monday through Thursday of next week.

The camp is for students in third through sixth grades at Slatington Elementary School, and seventh and eighth grades at Northern Lehigh Middle School.

Eighty-five students took part in the program between Slatington Elementary and Northern Lehigh Middle School, said STEAM Camp director Timothy Weaber.

Weaber said that on Tuesday, the students made natural insect repellent, worked with Non-Newtonian fluid, made rock candy, took a nature walk, made plaster relief casts of nature, tested compost, and convection experiments. He said their guest speaker was Liz Wagner from Crooked Row Farm.

Mikayla Smyth, who is about to enter fifth grade, said she enjoyed learning about Oobleck, a Non-Newtonian fluid.

“And looking at what the difference is between solid and liquid is,” Mikayla said.

Rhett Friebolin, who is also about to enter fifth grade, shared a different perspective on things.

“I like eating the snacks at STEAM camp,” Rhett said. “I like learning about heat transfer.”

Elsewhere, Elizabeth Long, who is about to enter sixth grade, said she liked the Oobleck.

Zoe Felker, about to enter fifth grade, took it a step further.

“STEAM Camp is fun and I like to have fun in the summer,” Zoe said.

Rachael Hoffman, about to enter sixth grade, said it was about sharing experiences with her fellow classmates.

“I like hanging out with friends,” Rachael said.

Weaber said the main goal is to provide the students with opportunities to learn about the subjects that comprise STEAM.

“The students really get a hands-on approach to future career possibilities in STEAM,” Weaber said. “We have six instructors from (the two buildings) who do a wonderful job of providing these experiences for our students.”

Weaber added that the district is grateful for a $25,000 EITC Grant to the district’s Education Foundation form Neffs National Bank.

Dr. Jen Butz, camp coordinator, added it’s nice to have the program continue for the last six years so the students are given the opportunity to explore STEAM careers.

From left, soon-to-be fifth grader Harper Faust and soon-to-be sixth grader Annie Strohl are shown boiling sugar and water Tuesday morning during Northern Lehigh School District's sixth annual STEAM Summer Camp. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS
From left, soon-to-be sixth grader Elizabeth Long, soon-to-be fifth grader Zoe Felker, and soon-to-be sixth grader Rachael Hoffman, proudly display their projects. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS