After running for 7 years in Madison, STEAM Camp was ready to hit the ground running in Milwaukee! Sponsored by Strang Inc. and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), this free week-long camp focuses on teaching underserved youth about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.
For five days during the summer, middle school campers board a school bus and visit university laboratories, public associations, private companies, and non-profit organizations encompassing a wide variety of programs highlighting STEAM-focused career fields. Each day introduces campers to the people who work within these disciplines and help campers understand the skills needed in each role.
In this hands-on format, campers learn which educational decisions should be made now to prepare for future careers in STEAM. Camp also focuses on how these careers often require similar, overlapping skills, emphasizing a connected educational approach.
Our goal is to provide a safe, fun, and interactive environment where campers will learn new skills and identify access to STEAM career pathways.
On Monday, students met at Viets Tower for the first of many workshops. From there they traveled to Findorff, a construction company, that presented with OPCMIA Local 599, an apprenticeship training center, for a boots-on-the-ground experience in construction management. Here, they learned the many roles it takes to construct a building while participating in hands-on activities.
Student finished out the day with the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) & the First Stage Children’s Theater for an interactive session that explored performing and using your voice and movement, particularly in the context of developing future career skills.
Tuesday students from Nicolet High School started with a lesson in robotics and engineering as campers tried their hand at various design challenges including a drop tower, morse code bracelets, and marshmallow spaghetti towers.
In the afternoon, WEC Energy Group took students on a walking tour of the Elm Road Generating Station facility, highlighting the many environmental controls in place. Campers got a firsthand look at electrical generation and renewable and non-renewable energy sources while also learning about careers in the energy field.
On Wednesday, campers learned about bioengineering with MSOE. They built model hearts to test valve functions and received a tour of a medical 3D printing facility.
For the second half of the day, students ventured outside to MATC’s mobile STEM lab where they learned about pneumatics in modern manufacturing. They were able to test their theory on live equipment and learn about how we can create work from the air we breathe.
On Thursday, Strang Inc. dove into the realm of design with students through a guided exploration of architecture and the built environment. During the presentation, campers learned the basics of designing interior and exterior spaces, constructing architectural models, and harnessing emerging technologies, such as AI, to generate never-before-seen renderings.
After lunch, students traveled to Veolia for a tour of Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility. There they were able to observe scientists in action aboard MMSD’s research vessel, the Pelagos. Here, campers studied how to take various water quality measurements and what those results mean for our waterways.
On the last day of camp, MATC presented on Building Controls and provided an overview of the Building Automated Systems Technician program using a lab and trainer board.
The last session of the week was presenters from Spring Bank. Campers underwent a budgeting success session where they explored the concepts of income, expenses, saving, and responsible spending through engaging and interactive activities. From designing personal budgets to making smart financial decisions, students gained practical knowledge and hands-on experience that will empower them to navigate their financial future with confidence.
That wraps up a jampacked week at Milwaukee STEAM Camp. A HUGE thank you to all our presenters, chaperones, and most importantly, our campers! To learn more about STEAM Camp in preparation for next year, visit our informational page here.
To sum up the STEAM Camp experience we can’t put it any better than the words of one of our campers: