Local teens build rockets and robots at first ever STEAM program

Victoria College held their first ever STEAM program this summer.

This program teaches students ages 14-17 about science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

“it’s a 14-day project based camp for our students,” tells Maria Rico, Camp Coordinator.

This camp shows crossroads students a wide variety of steam centered classes.
“They’ve done one of our favorite projects is fuel powered rockets, they’ve built robots that actually battled each other. They also take a math class, and they take a career and college class,” adds Rico.

Camp coordinator Maria Rico adds the main mission for this camp is to expose students of possible careers in the steam fields.
“We want them to try to achieve their dreams and to expose them. A lot of these students are aware of different steam related careers and some really have never been exposed. This camp really gave them the chance and the opportunity, to build rockets to actually learn physics from a college professor and not only that but actually be on a college campus to give them a little taste of this could be me,” explains Rico.

St. Joe High School student Mitul Agarwal says he learned the importance of teamwork in the steam profession.
“You have to work together to get anywhere especially things like escape rooms and a bunch of engineering challenges that we did. Everyone has to be on the same page,” exclaims Mitul Agarwal, Student.

Agarwal believes the best part of the camp was seeing some of his ideas come to life.
“Your idea goes into a dream then into something physical you can hold in your hands. Seeing it actually work was probably the biggest, well your just enlightened when that happens. You see your things sometimes work but when you see a rocket go 200 ft and land on the other side of the road, that is one of the best feelings like hey i made that from scratch, Agarwal smiles.

Dr. Deborah Pedraza an associate professor at Victoria College helped teach the students about what it takes to become an engineer.

“The excitement of the students and their ability to want to work through problems and problem solve, the most exciting part was to see students that really wanted to learn,” Dr. Deborah Pedraza says passionately!

“See what they accomplished and so seeing those victories and that sparkle in their eye is kind of my favorite part,” declares Rico,

Rico says she hopes to bring this camp back and make it better for years to come.