California Renewable Energy Lab Hosts STEM Summer Camp at BC

small fire demonstration during lecture portion at STEM summer camp event

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

The California Renewable Energy Lab (CREL) hosted two, week-long STEM summer camps on Bakersfield College’s main campus which brought together local high school and junior high students to focus on STEM concepts, activities, and lessons.

This unique event aims to introduce junior high and high school students to STEM concepts through hands-on activities, presentations from STEM faculty and professionals, and engaging activities. Students from public schools in the Bakersfield area were invited to participate. More than 30 seventh and eighth-grade students attended the first week, and more than 30 ninth and tenth-grade students attended the second week.

The activities focused on three core concepts: renewable energy, impacts on climate, and general STEM. In the renewable energy rotation, students experimented with Stirling engines, solar panels, and small-scale wind turbine models. In the impacts on climate rotation, participants got to create their own terrariums after learning about biological and geological sequestration. In the general STEM rotation, students had the opportunity to build a watermill from household items like plastic spoons and cups. They also constructed a bridge out of spaghetti that could withstand weight up to ten pounds!

This year’s CREL STEM Summer Camp was a pilot camp, but the positive response from the students and staff has prompted conversations regarding a similar event in the Summer of 2025.

BC chemistry professor talking to classroom full of summer camp attendees
BC chemistry professor doing a fire demonstration during STEM camp event