The second annual summer STEM Academy was held June 23-26 on the John H. Daniel Campus of Southside Virginia Community College. Nearly 70 students from Halifax County Middle School and Halifax County High School attended the four-day academy.
Ronnie Cole, Katherine Clatterbuck, Clint Johnson, Dr. Christy Lowery-Carter, and Christy Shook collaborated and planned the curriculum for the event. Halifax County educators Gloria Coles, Sandora Faulkner, Mitchell Martin, Aubree Mitchell, Cassidy Prevett, Regan Priest, Adam Reeves, Tammie Saunders, and Joncie Slate attended training and lead a group during the week.
The academy this summer focused on the past, present, and future of 3-D and 4-D printing. Students began their study by examining directed research questions on the beginning stages of 3-D printing in the mid 1980’s. Their study concluded with future trends in printing including metals, food, and human organs and tissue.
In addition, students were able to build and test the Cyborg Beast Hand. This device assists people who may be missing fingers on either their left or right hand to use the motion of their wrists to open and close the fingers on the device. This device can be manufactured for approximately $250 compared to the tens of thousands of dollars a prosthesis can cost.
Lastly, students used technology to take digital pictures and videos of their group throughout the entire project process. They created questions about 3D printing and interviewed each team member, guest speakers, and experts. To display their team work, they planned and created a news broadcast that showcased their group's research findings and Cyborg Beast Hand.