This week many of our students in the Configurable Computing Lab spent the majority of their time participating and hosting BYU Chip Camp. Chip Camp is a fairly new BYU summer camp that targets 7th and 8th graders. The objective is to introduce these youth to different STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. Throughout the week they participate in different activities from learning about circuits, to doing statistics to determine the settings for a catapult to hit a target. These activities include building and launching paper rockets, using statistics to accurately launch catapults, understand logic gates in order to build a “human” calculator, playing with static electricity, building a circuit, programming, chemical disposition, microcontrollers, and even a trip into the Cleanroom.
Each week we also have a number of young female engineers which we are always excited to see and hope to encourage more to come and participate in future years. We will be doing more to reach out to the female engineers and show them how fun it is to be an engineer and participate in STEM activities. None of the activities are gender specific and we encourage all to participate and learn.
Chip Camp is sponsored by Micron and IM Flash, who are very excited to introduce youth into these fields at such a young age. Throughout the week, you can find representatives from Micron and IM Flash here to participate with the youth and also introduce them into the cool things that they do for a profession. We are always pleased to have these enthusiastic engineers come and help the youth enjoy these fun activities.
This year we also had Chem Camp join us for a bit on Wednesday. These kids are 6th grade age and joined with our Chip Camp to excite them to continue on in STEM activities. They joined us for lunch and for the ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) Module. Chem Camp and Chip Camp would teach each other a little of what they have learned, encouraging the kids to share what they have learned.
Our students help these youth to learn the principles by teaching and instructing the different modules. The students also help the youth during the activities, making sure that each have a positive experience and get excited for STEM activities. The amount of time that goes into preparing for Chip Camp is quite extensive. This year we had Matthew Cannon and Jordan Anderson building a new revision for the LED Frisbee that would allow the youth to program onto the board directly, making the project cheaper and easier to use. Time also went in to updating the Frisbee webpage and making our own BYU custom Energia. In addition, Alex West and Valerie Fisher spent time making a new module, “Magnetic Muscles.” The came up with a new idea of teaching about magnetism and having the kids build their own electromagnets. Jared Anderson worked on revamping Tower of Terror and changing it into Edison’s Bridge. These are just a few specific examples of the work done by our students in preparing for Chip Camp. These efforts take weeks of preparation and we thank all for their help and participation in Chip Camp.
For more information see https://chipcamp.ce.byu.edu/ .