Micron gets kids excited about science

Kids have plenty of learning opportunities over the summer, from sports camps to band camps to dance camps.

There’s also a Chip Camp.

The Micron Foundation hosts two free summer Chip Camps — designed for middle school students to learn about the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math.

About 60 kids will take part this week and 60 more will attend next week. The students, from about 40 schools, will get three full days of hands-on learning:

  • Building and launching rockets while learning Newton’s laws.
  • Programming a Lego robot.
  • Using catapults to learn scientific methods and statistics.
  • Designing and building a capacitor with foil, plastic wrap and adhesive.

On Tuesday morning, the kids were in a “Phenomenal Physix” class. They experienced electrical currents that caused their hair to stand on end, and had the chance to fry a pickle.

Chip Camp 1
Lauren McKenna laughs at an electrifying experience during Chip Camp.

“It was slightly shocking,” said Lauren McKenna, a middle school student from Compass Public Charter in Meridian. “I really like these kinds of classes because I’m a hands-on learner.”

Lauren said she’s interested in going into the medical field, which is why she is interested in learning more about science. This is the only summer camp she chose to participate in.

“Many of the kids who attend our camp are predisposed to STEM learning by either an interest or an aptitude or both,” said Kami Faylor, community relations manager for the Micron Foundation. “About one third who attend are Micron kids.”

The camps filled up within hours and participants were selected on a first come, first served basis.

Most of Chip Camp’s activities are not offered during the school year. The Micron Foundation designs the curriculum and activities. Sessions are facilitated by dozens of Micron engineers and scientists, providing kids with interaction with role models in high-tech careers. Micron allows employees up to 12 comped “education” hours a year; many engineers and scientists use all of that time at Chip Camp.

On the camp’s third day, all the kids are bused to Micron for a tour and to participate in chemistry experiments and computer programming.

“The idea is to spark the passion for STEM,” Faylor said. “We are creating excitement.”

This is the 14th year of Chip Camp, which is being held at the Dehryl A. Dennis Professional Technology Center in partnership with the Boise School District.

Click here to watch a Chip Camp video or learn more about the program.

Chip Camp 2

Jennifer Swindell

Jennifer Swindell

Managing editor and CEO Jennifer Swindell founded Idaho Education News in 2013. She has led the online news platform as it has grown in readership and engagement every year, reaching over two million pageviews a year. Jennifer has more than 35 years of experience in Idaho journalism. She also has served as a public information officer for Idaho schools and as a communication director at Boise State University. She can be reached at [email protected].

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