For 15 years, UNC Charlotte has opened its doors to rising first- to 12th-grade students by running day camps that keep their minds engaged during the summer.
Camps on Campus participants work with scientists, researchers, actors and academic leaders in the college setting for a unique learning experience.
Charlotte residents Conrad Glenn and Nathan Cataldo, both 13, recently worked on building their computer-programmed, motorized robot in the Niner Academy Robotics day camp, for students who will be in grades 9-12 this fall.
Sam Shue, a doctoral student in electrical engineering and robotics at UNC Charlotte, taught students how to use infrared sensors to help their robots follow a wall before trying to run the maze.
The two boys have been coming to the summer camps for seven years, along with Christopher Bowman and Henry Nguyen, both 13.
“It’s really fun, and Sam is awesome,” Conrad said. The four agreed with that assessment as they worked on their robots in the EPIC building.
“I’ve been coming the longest: eight years,” Nathan said, “but we’ve all been coming to robotics for the last three years.”
It was the first robotics camp for Charlotte resident Emma Colberg, 14.
“I am learning a lot and having a lot of fun with all the math involved and getting to see the Legos come to life. I am coming back in August for Robotics 302,” she said.
At the McEniry building across campus, the Cool School camp, for students who will be in grades 1-4 this fall, was in full swing. Summer Smart Art Instructor Shannon Helms demonstrated how to use organic shapes, cut into foam, to add paint to the students’ collages.
Charlotte resident Sahana Venkatesh, 7, unsuccessfully tried to keep her fingers clean as she dipped the sponge into the paint to stamp a star on her paper. “My favorite part was when we got to cut out shapes and glue them on the paper,” she said.
Her favorite shape is, “circles, because they don’t have any sides, and that makes them unique,” she said. Sahana said she hopes to come back next year because, “Art is fun.”
The seven-week long day camps include the 49ers Minors camps for children who will be in grades 5-8 this fall. The camps, which run Monday through Friday, started June 15 and continue through Aug. 7.
Jennifer Howe, marketing manager of extended academic programs at UNC Charlotte, said that most of the camps are full and have waiting lists of students hoping to enroll. She said there are still openings in the many camps: Play-Well TEKnologies Lego, Hunger Games Book Club/Archery Camp, Law Leaders: Constitution and Court Camp, Time Capsule: Year 2065!, Jedi Engineering using Lego and Chess Camp: Beginner to Expert.
Half-day camps, which will be offered July 13-17 and the Aug. 3-7 also have openings. The cost is $230 per week for full-day camps and $150 per week for half-day camps.
Marty Price is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information or to register for the remaining camps go to http://summercamps.uncc.edu