Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Santa Fe College STEM camp inspires young scientists and engineers

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – Every year Santa Fe College offers a free STEM camp for rising high school freshmen in Bradford and Alachua counties.

This summer’s theme is earth, wind, fire, and water.

“We want science to be fun because it is,” said professor and camp leader, Alejandra Maruniak.

The week-long camp is funded by the Carl D. Perkins grant which supports career and technical education programs at Santa Fe College.

This allows students to participate in interactive learning projects such as constructing solar models, building and launching rockets, 3D printing, and DNA technology

“They see what it is to be a scientist and maybe get the interest to come to college. It is nice when we have a student that says, yeah I did STEM camp here four years ago and now I am interested in college” said Maruniak.

Throughout the week students will receive tours of the Santa Fe College planetarium, teaching zoo, construction institute, and health sciences programs.

As well as fun education, camp leaders hope to expose students to the opportunities for future schooling right here in North Central Florida.

“I think it is important for them to know what is available. To know what is available right here. We have the great University of Florida and Santa Fe College, which offer so many things in this region. There are biotechnology companies. So students can stay in town, stay in this area, and go to college and just cross 441 and find a job,” said Maruniak.

The camp began yesterday and will run until Friday to inspire future scientists and engineers.

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