Surrounded by the mountains, trees and fresh air, some 93 students bent over their tools joining, fixing and making things. Such was a scene, at one of our partner schools, that hosted the first STEM Summer Camp in Nepal.
Was it an easy ride? No. But was it fun? Bumpy rides always are!
After months of planning and revisiting the agenda for the Summer Camp, stressing over what need to be taught, what should be covered? Should we teach soldering or should we cover 3D printing? What will be challenging yet fun for kids? What if we fail? What if no-one signs up?- The facilitator- Mayank Dhakal and Rajesh Shrestha along with their team hosted their STEM Summer Camp. It covered wood working, basic robotics, electronics and even a workshop on Quadcopter’s.
Here is what they had to say about their experience about hosting the one-of-a-kind Summer Camp:
“It was one of the greatest experience, to be a facilitator at the STEM Summer Camp. On the first day, we could see the excitement of students on their face. They were full of energy. Student spent their time working on new projects from simple robots, electronics, and wood working- something they hadn’t done before. Marble Run was a hit. And a close second was the Resin Work. Students even tinkered a bit with 3D printers and ended the camp with a Drone Session. The success of the STEM Summer Camp has motivated us to host the next one.” – Rajesh Shrestha and Mayank Dhakal, BVS Nepal
The kids were exposed to a wide range of cutting edge tool and technology. But that’s not the part to focus on. What’s more important is the struggle they went through while building and making things. Frustrating yet satisfying struggle of building things from scratch, to bring your vision alive and give it a physical form.
Here is what one of the students, Sangya Thapa, had to share, when asked about her experience at the STEM Summer Camp:
“After a long wait, we finally started our Summer Camp on 28 of June. We all were extremely excited. There were two batches and we chose the second one. We started with a theory class and then moved on to build a wooden photo frame on our own. Our teacher provided us with the materials needed to make a photo frame but before that they explained how to use and for which purposes it was used. That helped us a lot to understand about the tools and start our work. Sir first showed us how to make the frame and we followed the steps. First everyone was confused but slowly we figured it out. We were a group of 5 girls and beside us we had 2 groups of 5 boys and 1 group of 3 girls. It was a frustrating job to work on the frame. After more than 15 attempts we almost made one but there was a lot of risky things to do which also could have destroyed our frame. Unfortunately it broke but we didn’t give up and again started to make another one. Time was running and our work wasn’t completed so we planned to gather earlier on the 2ndday so that we could complete our pending work. We started our pending work which has to be completed by that day. After a lot of try we made one. It took almost the whole day to make one frame but we managed to do the resin work too. Time flew so fast and time was up for that day. On our third day we worked on 3D printing and finished our Resin work as well. That day everyone was told to bring their own laptops for designing their own name tags. By then, our time was up for that day. On our last day we worked on electronics. We learnt a lot in the 4 days and I believe I have learnt things that I can use in my daily life as well. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait for another STEM camp like this.” – Sangya Thapa
Maker Spaces, STEM Labs, Fab labs- whatever you call them, the purpose of these spaces is simply to let students discover their owns strengths, develop technical and soft skills alike and revel in the process of making and learning. And this Summer Camp did it all.