STEM Health Camp Embraces Virtual Experience for Students

Student working at their computer.RCC held another successful week-long STEM camp for 32 local rising 6th-9th grade students. This was the first year with high school students, with nine participating in higher level activities. For the past 5 years the camp was held on the RCC campus. Due to current events, this year’s camp was converted to an online class. This transition was made possible with the support and contributions from a variety of sources, including RCC faculty, local organizations, and parents.

Campers Get to Work
The focus for camp this year included a combination of coding basics and health topics. Packages were delivered to students that contained an Arduino basic starter kit, heart rate monitor, and a DIY robotic hand kit – all at no cost to parents. Students were guided through daily lessons beginning with the basics of coding using the Arduino IDE program.

The Right Chemistry for Engineering RCC STEM-Health camp works to provide an interdisciplinary experience for students. This year Ms. Riley, an RCC registered nurse instructor, explained how the body uses electrical signals to help function. Students were then able to use the provided heart rate monitor and Arduino program to code for and read their own body’s heart rhythm and electrical pulses. The daily lessons lead students to learning how to control LEDs, buzzers, servos, and even the motion of their DIY robotic hand using their body’s own motion and electrical signals! Students could be heard inviting their family members into the room to see what they were doing and smiles were seen through the screens by the camp teachers as students successfully accomplished the daily lesson goals. The website used for the camp will be shared with local schools for use in their classrooms. If you are interested in learning more about the camp, visit


STEM Health Camp Acknowledgements 

A special thank you to all who contributed to help provide such an experience free to the public. The RCC Technology Department Kathy Fife, Michael Anthony and Dave Newsome provided funding for middle school students’ STEM kits. Dean Smith and Ms. Wind from RCC’s Area Health Education Center (AHEC) provided funding for the high school student STEM Kits. Ms. Riley, with support from Dean Smith, helped STEM staff incorporate an ECG sensor into the STEM camp. Perkins Technical Education Grant managed by RCC Dean Brooks provided funding for STEM camp staffing. Jeff Macharyas provided online marketing and Hutt Williams from Dual Enrollment shared the opportunity to the middle and high schools. Camp Director Greg Dorsey from CBGS developed the curriculum, camp website, and organized delivering the free STEM kits to families. We also thank the camp teachers Rhett Moore from RCC Technology and Stephanie Dahlem from Aylett Country Day School. Again, all contributions were greatly appreciated and led to a successful, educational experience for our local students.