Camden Prep High School just opened this school year with its founding freshman class and they’re not slowing down. A new Robotics elective, led by robotics engineer Dr. Cortney Bolden, is giving students an opportunity to take a deeper dive into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics from computer science and geometry to electronics and critical thinking.
“It’s about exposure to new skills. It’s about problem solving. It’s about critical thinking and even getting excited about technology and using it in everyday life,” Bolden tells TAPintoCamden.
Camden Prep student Naquan Tatum told TAPintoCamden that “at first the class feels hard, then it actually gets easier and you become better and better. It gets more fun to do.”
The excitement isn’t contained to just the students. CPHS Principal Syrena Burnam, a STEM educator herself, is also excited about the program.
“STEM classes that allow students to build and create allow them to explore what mathematicians and scientists actually do in a way that engages and excites many teenagers,” Burnam says. “This is how our robotics program gets them thinking about continuing their STEM education in challenging high school summer programs, internships and in college.”
The after-school program follows the First Lego League curriculum, designed to introduce STEM concepts to youth 4-16 years old. And while our students are learning remotely, Dr. Bolden says teaching the class isn’t impossible. The students are currently learning how to use computer-aided design software (CAD), which is the first step to design and prototype ideas.