Aamjiwnaang day camp fosters interest in science, technology, engineering and math
First Nation near Sarnia one of six Indigenous communities where the camp was held this summer
Just because children are out of school for the summer doesn't mean they've turned off their curiosity or willingness to learn.
The proof was on full display at the Aamjiwnaang First Nation's Maawn Doosh Gumig community centre this week, where Actua, a national organization that promotes STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — education, held a day camp for children aged seven to 12.
The goal of the camp is to encourage Indigenous youth to go into STEM careers, explained Sasha Ekomiak, one of the instructors.
"[We want to] help them realize that STEM is all around them, not just making slime," she said.
Campers engage in activities in and out of the community centre during the week-long session.
"We go from Ozobots, which are baby robots the kids can play with; we do an activity called Minerals in your Mouth, which is like dentistry, we do chemistry," said Ekomiak. "It's a lot of fun for the kids to engage in."
Ten-year-old Mitchal Yellowman was one of the children inspired by the camp. When asked what activity he enjoyed the most, Yellowman was quick to point to the dentistry work.
"You get to see what the dentists get to do," he said. "When they work on your teeth you don't get to see it."
Does Yellowman want to become a dentist when he grows up?
"Probably," he answered.