Thursday, 18 June 2020 17:07

Epps offering 2 STEAM camps at RichmondCC this summer

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Jeff Epps, founder of STEMerald City, will again be partnering with Richmond Community College for STEAM camps, teaching kids practical applications of mathematics and science. Jeff Epps, founder of STEMerald City, will again be partnering with Richmond Community College for STEAM camps, teaching kids practical applications of mathematics and science. RO file photo

HAMLET — Richmond Community College will once again be partnering with STEMerald City to offer summer camps that engage children in critical thinking, math, science and technology. However, there’s a twist to this year’s STEAM camps. Camps will be conducted online plus outdoor activities.

In the “Get Outside for a Bit” camp, students will learn to program a microprocessor called a micro:bit to read information about their environment such as their body temperature, soil temperature, air moisture, barometric pressure, and the number of steps they walk each day.

“They will have to go outside and measure all these different things, so they are both ‘plugged in’ and ‘unplugged’ each day,” said STEMerald City Developer Jeff Epps.

The idea for the camp has been brewing for some time, Epps said, as he and Dr. Cynthia Reeves, associate dean of Grants and Special Projects for RichmondCC, have been thinking of ways to get the kids outside more.  

“The students will write the code for their micro:bit to take these measurements, and then they will go outside to collect the information,” Epps said.

Camp will be held July 13-16 with a virtual Zoom meeting from 9 to 11 a.m. The outdoor activity will need to be completed any time prior to the next day’s Zoom meeting.

The second virtual STEM camp, FUNdamentals of Algebra, will be held July 27-30. While there will be no outside component, the camp will “hide the broccoli in the mashed potatoes,” which is how Epps describes feeding the students math problems without it feeling like math.

Meeting via Zoom from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the camp will emphasize 3-D design and engineering. Activities will focus on using computational thinking (coding) and 3-D modeling to visualize the fundamentals of algebra. The goal is to strengthen each students skills in analysis, logical thinking, reasoning and sequencing.

Students will be mailed all the materials and accessories needed for each camp. A computer and Internet access will be required. Each camp is $30 per participant. Applications can be completed online at http://richmondcc.edu/youthprograms or in person at RichmondCC’s Hamlet campus or at the Scotland County campus. For more information, call Reeves at 910-410-1817 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..