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MCC exposes teens to art and science through STEAM program

Meridian Community College is helping middle to high school students stay engaged this summer.

“This week in the afternoon, we’re having STEAM camp. STEAM is an acronym; it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics,” said Valerie Bishop, one of the instructors.

The purpose of the program is to integrate the arts in what people refer to as STEM.

“For example, in this class one of the things we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be making optical illusion spinners. We’re working with how light interacts with color and how that can create optical illusions, seeing colors that aren’t really there when you start spinning things, or seeing how the colors interact with each other to make new colors,” said Bishop.

Students are taking classes in mad science, woodworking, creative writing, and marine biology. Those taking marine biology will get to demonstrate what they have learned by scuba diving.

“We kind of start out slow. We start out with the tank, we learn some things about the science of marine biology. The thing is if you want to be a marine biologist, one of the benefits is being able to get in the water with the organisms. So, at the end of the week we’re going to get a taste of that,” said another instructor.

Students are also being exposed to game design. Bishop said the STEAM program is preparing them for their futures.

“They’re going to be taught at a level that’s maybe not quite college level, but definitely a little higher than we would normally teach in our classes with College 4 Kids for the younger children. We want to try to hit that learning style for these middle school students. Lots of hands-on activities, trying to make connections, trying to make the art and science relative to what they see in everyday life.”

MCC says it plans to continue the STEAM program in the future.

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