Milo Hosts First STEM Camp
Milo Adventist Academy in Days Creek, Ore., hosted its first STEM Camp April 15–17, 2018. Students in grades seven through 10 from around the Oregon Conference spent three days at Milo focusing on workshops and presentations related to science, technology, engineering and math.
Dale Milam, vice principal for academics and biology and anatomy teacher, says, “STEM is a growing area of emphasis for schools and students alike. Schools that are not doing STEM are getting left behind, and students who are not experiencing STEM are missing exciting and meaningful concepts and valuable material. STEM not only shares information, but it teaches how to learn. Students also learn the value of doing seemingly difficult things that require thinking, analyzing, investigation, problem-solving in addition to memorization of facts. I believe this opened the eyes of many of the participants as to the variety of applications and areas within anatomy to be studied. Some students had that expression change that says, ‘Wow! Anatomy is so much more than I thought it was.’”
Randy Thornton, Milo principal, teaches physical science and is coach for the Milo Robotics team. He says, “STEM camp is really about making new friends and developing relationships. We would like students to think that all learning is fun, but in reality learning is often hard work. Some can see the fun in this but usually have to look rather deeply to find it. Two of my favorite aspects of STEM are robotics and chemical explosions. With these the learning opportunities are vast, as with other core school subjects, but fun is right on the surface. It’s really cool when kids think they are just doing fun activities but are actually learning important stuff without even knowing it. Many robotics lessons taught at Milo provide skills useful in future employment.”
Sophomore Samantha Fullmer was a counselor for STEM camp. “When we were watching Mr. Andrieux turning liquid into solids in a matter of seconds, the kids’ surprised faces were the most fun thing to watch. I loved watching them as they made hovercraft sails and learned how to create a website. I think the kids got a lot out of learning how to build things and stretch their minds to learn new things. Using physics to create and build a shockproof egg holder, stepping outside of the box to create a sail that would get the hovercraft to move in front of a fan, learning about chemistry while creating optical illusions — all of these things add to create a memory that the kids and I will never forget.”
Junior Xavier Alarid was also a counselor. “I loved getting to meet all of the kids that I got to help and getting to participate in the activities along with it, which strengthened our bond," he says. "I think the kids got an excellent look at what Milo truly is, and I was told that they loved getting to explore the campus and meeting all the teachers. Not to mention that the kids loved how friendly the staff were.”