This year, the SEEK (Summer Engineering Experience for Kids) Camp was held at the beautiful Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School. During the free three-week camp, 50 very dedicated collegiate engineering and/or mathematics students from various colleges and universities across the nation served as mentors and provided daily instruction to over 300 third through fifth grade students. The students learned basic and advanced engineering concepts and techniques by participating in real-world, rigorous lessons that they could relate to. The SEEK Program utilizes a project-based, hands-on design curriculum developed by SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers) and supported by A World in Motion (AWIM).
The SEEK Camp is an engaging and exciting introduction to the many areas of engineering for Detroit Public Schools students. The purpose of SEEK is to increase elementary school students’ aptitude in math and science and their interest in pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) career fields, by engaging them in interactive, team-based engineering projects.
Campers worked collaboratively in teams, using their knowledge to solve problems and design products while discovering the underlying math and science principles involved in these processes. These concepts support the newly adopted Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) and related practices. Each week, the campers took on and conquered a new project, culminating with a presentation and design competition that all parents were invited to attend.
The highly anticipated weekly competitions took place on Fridays and required students to demonstrate their engineering skills. Amidst the chanting from team members and cheers from the audience of parents and DPS teachers, teams were able to compete by showcasing their ability to develop projects and demonstrate mastery of a specific engineering concept. In order to acknowledge the levels of mastery, the lively competitions were culminated with awards ceremonies that highlighted teams and individual students for their academic abilities to meet the rigorous standards of the program.
The SEEK Camp is the result of an ongoing partnership between the Detroit Public Schools Office of Mathematics led by Executive Director Irene Nordé, Ph.D., and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and is supported by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The Office of Mathematics would like to acknowledge the following Detroit Public Schools that had students participating in the SEEK Camp: Academy of the Americas, Bagley, Bates Academy, Bennett, Bow, Ronald Brown Academy, Burton International, Carleton, Chrysler, Cooke, Davison, DIA, Dixon, Earhart, Fisher Lower, FLICS, Gardner, Garvey, Golightly, Greenfield Union, Harms, Henderson Academy, Hutchinson, JR. King, Ludington, Mackenzie, Mann, Mark Twain, Marshall, Munger, Nichols, Palmer Park Prep, Pasture, Paul Robeson/Malcom X, Schulze, Spain, Thirkell, Vernor, Wright, and Young. Although the 2014 SEEK Camp has ended, hundreds of DPS students are eagerly anticipating Detroit SEEK 2015!
Written by: Tamara Glenn and Rita Barksdale, Instructional Specialists