Goodwill helps local children learn about STEM

science camp

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – A new STEM focused camp is making learning fun for disadvantaged children in the Roanoke Valley.

It’s simple chemistry — making clouds with dry ice. But for these campers – it’s also an opportunity to explore the STEM field.

“I like it because it’s like fun things you can do at home,” said camper Lany Balthauzar.

Teachers at Goodwill’s Youth Science Camp work with local kids to connect them with subjects like science, technology, engineering, and math.

The program manager at Goodwill said there’s a lack of opportunity in STEM learning for some families — and this camp wants to change that.

“The population that we serve, a lot of these young people they have parents that are unemployed or they have parents that did not go on to higher education,” said Nicole Ross, program manager at Goodwill.

“I’ve seen a gap between what they see at home and see in the classroom,” commented Brian Kreppeneck, a Roanoke 8th grade physical science teacher. “What I’m trying to do here is bring activities to life for the kids to see that science can take place anywhere.”

“I like it because it gives the children a lot of experience with the science,” said parent Marlene Campbell. “Just to be that visual sensory stem learning, that just speaks wonders because some children don’t get that opportunity.”

Each day campers focus on a different interest. Wednesday, WSLS10 Meteorologist Kristina Montouri taught students about weather systems. Afterwards, campers built their own weather models.

The two-week long camp is a first for Goodwill.

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