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Continuing Education Offers ‘Design It, Build It, Launch It’ Camp

Newtown Continuing Education has created a new science camp this summer called “Design It, Build It, Launch It! Engineering Your Own Machines, ” where students will be able to design, build, test, and modify their own machine projects. 

The camp is a hands-on science program developed for upper elementary and middle school students who enjoy both engineering and physics. Students will get to explore machines like catapults and trebuchets by building and testing them. Students will also explore modern inventions such as rockets and hovercraft and “egg drop” devices, according to Newtown Continuing Education.

Rick Lowry, who currently teaches fifth grade in Fairfield, is the camp’s creator.

“My hope is that kids enrolled in this program will get excited about science, especially when their learning is supported by real world designs that are created by them,” said Mr Lowry, who noted that he turned his parents’ barn into a summer science lab of his own when he was a kid and built different contraptions out of scrap wood and spare parts.

“I also hope that my students become more interested with the design process and not just the final product. Design failure is all part of this process. During the course, I encourage my students to be inquisitive and practice perseverance when something doesn’t work right or there is an unexpected result,” said Mr Lowry. “The idea of learning by doing is a permanent part of me.”   

Mr Lowry has taught summer school science programs for the past nine years, most recently with Fairfield Public Schools. With these camps he has taught engineering, organic gardening, chemistry, and digital photography.

“Science is my favorite subject to teach and I want to share this passion with younger people who might not have an opportunity to learn and explore with a scientific setting,” said Mr Lowry. “I think it’s important to make this kind of course available in addition to the many popular sports and summer camp programs that are offered each year. Kids should realize that there are many exciting careers in science that will be available as they get older.”

The camp is for students exiting grades four to seven and is limited to 12 students.

Students can either attend Session I or Session II. The first session runs from July 7 to 18 and the second from runs from July 21 to August 1. There is a fee of $349 for the course. Parents can find the camp’s registration form online at newtown.k12.ct.us.

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