About 25 middle-school students from West Philadelphia are in the midst of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics-focused summer camp, hosted by Drexel University's School of Education. The camp is funded entirely by Peco Energy Co.
In 2012, Peco awarded Drexel a $1 million grant to help create a collaborative education program that invests in the local community. About $150,000-$200,000 of the grant was dedicated to the STEM camp, which is now in its third and final year.
It began as a one-week initiative focused on rising fifth-graders. The second year, bumped up to two weeks, was for fifth- and sixth-graders, respectively. This year, the camp is three weeks, and catered to fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders.
This week, fifth graders (from nearby schools including Morton McMichael Elementary and Martha Washington Elementary, among others) are working on building small bridges and buildings with resources like coffee stirrers and pipe cleaners. They’re traveling to the Boeing Co., the Franklin Institute and Lancaster Science Factory. On Friday, the students will be creating small chemical reactions — blowing up watermelons, making ice cream and more, a press release noted.
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