"Techno Teen Camp Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Lab (STEM) is being conducted by Viola High School, Viola EAST Lab and Fulton County 4-H," Fulton County Extension Agent Brad McGinley said.
"When people think of 4-H, they think of showing livestock at the county fair or cooking something at home. Well, 4-H has many more aspects to it. 4-H has a lot of science programs and a lot of technology programs," McGinley said.
"This year we are focusing on video editing, global positioning systems, robotics and crime scene investigation. We have a CSI theme where we study the science of forensic investigations. We will be doing some DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis and also Internet safety," McGinley said.
June 10, the camp attendees tried their hand at television production, where they learned to shoot and edit their own video footage.
"The video editing part, we broke the kids into groups of five and they were challenged to make a commercial. They were given a scenario to make a commercial for and they had to shoot and edit it themselves. Each member of the team had a job, such as videographer, editor, producer; they each had a job within that challenge," McGinley said.
"We also use Windows Movie Maker in the video editing part and if the kids have a computer with Windows XP at home, it is already on there. So, we try to have things that they can take home and use at home," McGinley said.
June 11, the second day of the camp, the children worked with Lego Mindstorm.
"In the robotics section we used Lego robots. It is a learn on your own deal where they learn how to program the robot with the software. The robot can do anything from make noises to it actually has a working robotic arm that they can program to move. The robot can move, see color, and sense black and white," he said.
"They have a challenge where they actually have to build a robot and because of our CSI theme, we have a pretend bomb threat and they have to build a bomb sniffing robot to go find the bomb," McGinley said.
The last day of the camp children learned to use global positioning devices to plot their location.
"With the global positioning systems we have an Extension specialist with the University of Arkansas come up and talk about how to use a GPS. They will actually be marking points using the GPS. They will have a geo-cash box that they will have to go out and find with their handheld GPS systems," McGinley said.
"Everything has to do with technology today, so this is something practical that is fun," Viola EAST Lab facilitator Ashley Lewis said. "There are some fun things like the robots that they might not have at home but they might spark an interest and they might want to have a career in it."
Both McGinley and Lewis said they hope to have a third camp in the summer of 2009 but space in the program is limited.
North Arkansas Electric, First National Banking Company, Bank of Salem, Fun Days Restaurant, Dairy Queen, and Viola Stampede sponsor Techno Teen Camp, while Town and Country also made donations.
For more information about becoming a part of 4-H contact Brad McGinley at the Fulton County Extension office at 870-895-3301 or for EAST Lab information contact Ashley Lewis at Viola High School, 870-458-2213.