Students pitch tech projects to potential 'investors' - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Students pitch tech projects to potential 'investors'

Students learn to create objects with a 3D printer. (Source: WMBF News) Students learn to create objects with a 3D printer. (Source: WMBF News)

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Nearly 70 seventh and eighth graders from 60 surrounding middle schools participated in the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics' technology-based summer camp this week.

The four-day camp, called iTeams Xtreme, is part of the school's community outreach program to bring its resources and lessons to the students. 

Sixty-eight students worked together using the latest technologies to solve problems. They accepted one of three challenges as part of the camp. The options included creating a mobile app, creating an interactive game using Play-Doh or creating a product using a 3D printer. 

The camp helped students who may have a strong interest in computer science, technology and entrepreneurship. 

During the camp the instructors hoped to inspire the students to explore careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. 

"We recognize that S.T.E.M. education really is the future," said Sonja Taylor, camp director of iTeams Xtreme. 

The last day of camp required the students to put their best foot forward, making presentations to "sell" their projects to local "investors," an idea based on the popular TV show "Shark Tank."

The students developed a product and had to come up with a marketing plan of how they would sell it.

Some of them used a 3D printer to create their product. One group put together a solar charge phone case, while another created solar blinds. 

Some students also created an interactive game.

"You wouldn’t think that you could use Play-Doh to control the computer," said Omar Southern, a seventh grader at Aynor Middle School.

Southern and his team worked together to create the game, which included several characters. 

"We had to program, we had to build the road, we had to program each character to move and we had to program every little obstacle in the game," said Deeon Bellamy, a fellow seventh grader and Southern's partner.  

Some of the students entered the camp with no knowledge about the technology they used. However, once they were done, they were amazed at themselves over what they have created.

"It was totally new for me, because I never programmed or controlled a computer with Play-Doh," Southern said.

While the students learned about technology, they also picked up some life skills.

"I like that fact that we all did it together at the same time," Bellamy said. "Everyone was working. Sometimes when everyone is working at the same time, too much is going on for things to go the way you want them to. But everyone was working on something so it was done faster and it worked perfectly fine."

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