MiaSci Summer Camp – Strong Structures

A group of 4th and 5th grade mini engineers, led by John Morrissey, took over the MiaSci Shark Gallery for a week to learn, play and build. Strong Structures introduced campers to general engineering concepts as they built structures out of foam and wood blocks and then placed them on tables to simulate the effects of an earthquake to test the theories they were learning. What materials or building techniques help houses stay strong enough to withstand hurricanes in Florida? Javier Taboas, a 10-year-old going into 5th grade said that Mr. Morrissey “told us about building techniques…we learned triangles are very good.” His camp classmate Diondre Richmond said that they were learning that they “need things to keep our buildings strong.” Mr. Morrissey’s assistant, Stephanie Albright, a senior at FIU, also mentioned that the kids would be making support beams and testing their maximum weight capacity later on in the week. Talk about a crash course for future engineers!

Mr. Morrissey has been a camp counselor at MiaSci for 14 years. During the school year, he teaches 5th grade math. Mr. Morrissey keeps coming back to teach at MiaSci summer camp because he enjoys the “hands on learning” and sees the “joy in the kids.” Mr. Morrissey says that it’s an effective way for children to learn independently because “it’s not teaching to the test…science components make them think they’re having fun but learning at the same time.”

For additional information about MiaSci Summer Camp, please visit http://www.miamisci.org/summercamp/classinfo.php or call Karlisa Callwood at (305) 646-4233. Summer camp consists of eight one-week sessions from June 20th through August 12th, for campers in Pre-K–Fifth Grade. Camp hours are: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Before and after care are available.

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