Harford Community College Pilots Engineering Summer Camp for Kids


Bel Air, Md., June 13, 2011 —  This summer Harford Community College will become one of 21 institutions across the United States to pilot an out-of-school engineering program for kids called Engineering Adventures.

Engineering Adventures was designed by the Engineering is Elementary team at the Museum of Science in Boston. The HCC Engineering Adventures summer camp will engage students in solving a real-world problem using the engineering design process.

The camp, sponsored by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), will be offered to students in grades one to three from August 1-5 and to students in grades four and five August 8-12.

Dr. Pamela Lottero-Perdue, a Havre de Grace resident and a certified Teacher Educator with Engineering is Elementary, is the lead camp instructor. She is a former engineer and currently serves as an assistant professor of science education in the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences at Towson University. A passionate advocate for engineering education, Dr. Lottero-Perdue is involved in a major reform effort within Harford County Public Schools to teach engineering in elementary schools.

“Parents might assume that engineering is something reserved for high school or college students, yet children are natural engineers,” said Dr. Lottero-Perdue. “Kids solve problems routinely. For example, my train track needs to cross here without causing an accident, or my teddy bear needs a house that has a door and provides shelter. And when their solutions don’t work perfectly, they often try again. This problem-solving process is at the heart of engineering.”

During the sessions, professionals working in the field will meet with the campers to share what it’s like to be an engineer. Camp participants will be given two related trade books to extend their science/engineering learning at home.

Harford Community College is offering the camp as part of its STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) initiative. There is a need for engineers, and this program introduces engineering to young people, encouraging them to think about the field in new, creative ways.

“Engineering Adventures is a way for SAIC to help introduce the youth of our community to engineering and scientific research,” said John Ferriter, SAIC senior vice president. “In order for our country to remain competitive in these areas, we need to encourage young people in our communities to become familiar with what engineers and scientists do. This summer camp at Harford Community College allows SAIC to help provide students with a unique experience and a window into the world of engineering.”

For more information or to sign up for Engineering Adventures, call 443-412-2376 or visit www.harford.edu.