PWCS students design wearable tech at virtual camp
Posted on 09/03/2020
Graphic paper background with ruler and seven students in circles.

A grant funded by Qualcomm made it possible for students in PWCS to take part in a virtual technology camp. The Girls Wearable Tech Camp was offered to students in grades six-eight, who were selected by the principals at Unity Braxton and Parkside Middle Schools. The group of 20 students, led by instructors and Cedar Point Elementary School Teachers, Madeline Amend, Suzanne Brazier, and Adair Solomon, met virtually for one week.

Students were presented with the challenge of building and designing an automated hat using positional and continuous servomotors and LEDs to light up the hat. They explored their strengths, interests, and values to guide their creativity in decorating their hats.

On the last day of the camp, the girls presented their hats to the teachers, principals, a Qualcomm representative, and their fellow campers.

Tiyanna Frye, a rising eighth grader at Parkside Middle, used nature as her inspiration to decorate her hat, stating, “Being in nature makes me believe everything is possible.”

Carlie Bigley, a rising eighth grader at Unity Braxton Middle, shared that the camp reminded her of how much she liked science.

Brazier, one of the instructors and gifted education teacher at Cedar Point was impressed with the creativity of the camp participants.

The camp focused on promoting interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects through engaging activities to lead participants toward taking more computer science electives. The students engaged in fun activities that allowed them to explore their strengths, interests, and values. They were introduced to careers in the engineering field and guided through lessons in circuitry and coding.

The Virginia Student Training and Refurbishing (VA STAR) program was integral in helping to execute the camp virtually. Mike Wicsalcowski, the VA STAR program coordinator, donated 23 refurbished touchscreen computers the students kept after the camp. Funds that were previously going to be used to purchase lunch for the campers were repurposed to purchase $200 grocery gift cards for the families of the students.

Solomon, STEAM teacher at Cedar Point, summed up the week by sharing, “It was an incredible experience.”