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CareerTech STEAMmaker camp will challenge students, teachers

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Oklahoma students and teachers will get the chance this summer to think, build and learn at a camp conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

Oklahoma CareerTech is again teaming up with ESSDACK, an educational service agency with headquarters in Hutchinson, Kansas, to conduct the STEAMmaker camp.

STEAMmaker combines science, tinkering, engineering, aesthetics and mathematics with the maker movement in education. Maker education is project-based learning that incorporates solution-based problem-solving and engineering in a movement to encourage students to make or build things, said Jeremy Zweiacker, nontraditional coordinator at ODCTE.

Teams of two teachers and five students entering grades seven through 10 will come up with answers to challenges, build prototypes and test them. Teams will present their products and ideas to an expert panel. They will also have the chance to design their own challenges.

The camps will highlight nontraditional career options, and workers in nontraditional careers will speak. The camps will give teachers strategies to present nontraditional careers to students, and teachers will learn about creating and operating STEAMmaker spaces in their schools.

The camps are open to all Oklahoma technology centers and school districts that send students to tech centers, Zweiacker said.

“We are encouraging people from all different parts of the state to sign up so that we can spread the impact,” he said.

The camp will be June 7-10 at Waller Middle School in Enid. Teachers will bring students the first three days. On June 10 teachers will attend a session about applying in their classrooms what they learned during the first part of camp. Applications for teachers are open. More information about the camps and registration can be found at

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 59 campuses, 393 comprehensive school districts and 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

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