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News: Make Camp at Roane State Cumberland County campus inspires young people

News: Make Camp at Roane State Cumberland County campus inspires young people

Mollie Brooks, Karlie Sikorski and Jesse Timmcke immerse themselves in one of several projects that are undertaken during the annual “Make Camp” at Roane State’s Cumberland Business Incubator.

June 27, 2018

By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. – Profiles of campers etched into wooden blocks by a computer-operated router.

Personalized nightlights with glowing LED fibers in a globe atop decorated wooden cubes.

Remote control ATVs and air-powered rockets.

Those are just a few of the colorful items made by children during the fifth annual edition of “Make Camp,” held for a week each June at the Cumberland Business Incubator on the Cumberland County campus of Roane State Community College in Crossville.

A “Maker Space” in the incubator is equipped with a variety of equipment that can be used by tenants as well as the youngsters.

The camp is extremely popular, campus director Holly Hanson said. The 16 campers’ slots were filled five hours after registration began in mid-April.

“It (the camp) is something that’s not offered anywhere else in Crossville,” said Bonnie Moedano, the incubator’s administrative assistant. “It’s very hands-on, and it’s fun to watch all the kids make new friends.”

For the campers, “it’s the perfect age to develop a lifelong interest in science,” Hanson said. Studies show that girls often lose interest in science by the time they reach middle school, she said. Several of the girls in Make Camp, however, have become fascinated by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Hanson said.

Make Camp attendee Benjamin Backstrom uses a drill to help assemble a remote control ATV during this year’s “Make Camp” at the Cumberland Business Incubator on Roane State’s Cumberland County campus.

“I think it’s really cool and interesting,” said eighth-grader Amanda Heier, as she displayed some of the items she made. Benjamin Backstrom agreed. “You get to make a lot of cool stuff and bring it home,” he said.

Planning for Make Camp begins in January each year, and each year, new, creative ways to intrigue campers are devised. A host of volunteers, most of them retirees, oversee the campers as they work on their projects.

Campers pay a $150 tuition that covers the cost of materials.​

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