Davie County Schools puts a fun spin on a summer camp for 7th and 8th graders by offering STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Pipeline. This two-week experience was created in 2013 to increase interest and performance in STEM related studies for students across Davie County. The summer camp experience focuses on problem-based learning through a variety of activities, field trips, and the 4 C’s – collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. In addition to increasing science and math knowledge, students learn leadership, communication, and teamwork skills as they work alongside peers from all three county middle schools.
Week one of the 2019 camp focused on Ecology. Students were given leaf packets that were collected over a two-week time span along the Yadkin River from Blowing Rock to Hanging Rock. Using the packets, they explored wildlife, insects, and learned about water pollution. They also traveled to the Greensboro Science Center where they learned more about the insects that were found in their packets. The technology portion of STEM was evident during a digital scavenger hunt and rollercoaster virtual reality simulation.
Week two focused on sound waves. Art was incorporated when students got to paint waves in one of the high school’s art studios. At the end of each week, students presented their learning to parents. The second week of presentations are typically more confident than the first because of the presentation practice that week one provides. STEM Pipeline helps students become better problem solvers and helps build teamwork skills.
Since its start in 2013, STEM Pipeline has seen an average of 65.72% of its students attend the Davie County High School’s STEM Center or Davie County Early College High School. Participants in the STEM Pipeline are tracked throughout the school year in order to determine individual success, leadership qualities, and continued interest in STEM-based studies.