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Physics Professor Moves Full STEAM Ahead with Virtual Summer Camp

Casey Schwarz, an assistant professor of physics, has partnered with Adelle Schade, director of the Science Research Institute at Albright College, to bring an exciting, educational camp to local students from the comfort of their own homes.

In the spirit of the GaMES (Glass and Materials science to Engage Students) camp that Schwarz hosted during last year’s Ursinus Summer Burst program, this year she is working with Schade to engage students virtually despite COVID-19 limitations. The pair have found a way to bring STEAM activities from to students online from afar.

“By going virtual, we are able to offer all programming online including, for the first time, state-of-the-art Augmented and Virtual Reality Learning Platforms,” Schwarz said, adding, “A 3D 360-degree immersive platform will be designed for students based off of film from real laboratories and studios.”

The 25-day Science Research Institute summer camp is aimed at 5th-12th grade students and focuses on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) topics like medical science, music industry studios, fashion and design, 3D modeling and AR/VR coding.

The roster of virtual activities will offer mentorship, provide guest speakers and still supply lab work that can be accessed through phones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers.

Schwarz shared that they are also prepared to adapt to changing regulations involving COVID-19 and could potentially offer outdoor, face-to-face activities or carefully planned indoor activities, as the summer goes on.

Schade and Schwarz have worked together before on other outreach programs aimed at local middle and high school students, including a project involving Schade’s students making glass from dehydrated chicken manure with support from Ursinus students on campus.

Schwarz hopes that the Albright and Ursinus partnership will continue to grow and that in the future the camp will be able to reconvene in person on both college campuses.

For more information on the camp and to register, click here.

Ursinus faculty and staff are eligible for a discounted rate. Email aschade@albright.edu.

You can also find a few of Schwarz’s suggestions for fun, at-home science experiments here. —By Mary Lobo ’15