News Local

Science camp inspires future scientists

Joel Nickel

At the WISE Kid-Netic Energy Science & Engineering Camp, campers learned how to extract DNA from bananas.

At the WISE Kid-Netic Energy Science & Engineering Camp, campers learned how to extract DNA from bananas.

WISE Kid-Netic Energy Science & Engineering Camp saw Morden youth aged 9-12 discover their important role as future innovators and leaders at a camp that ran from July 24 to 28 at Ecole Morden Middle School.
“Our theme days included space discovery, medical science, mining, sustainability, and genetics,” Jill Lautenschlager, Program Administrator for WISE Kid-Netic Energy, said.
Undergraduate students from the University of Manitoba led the youth through a week of experimental learning.
“We had a full house,” Lautenschlager said. “We had three instructors and in the end we had 32 students and it was really hands on and it was a fun opportunity for [students] to see what STEM is all about.”
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
“The goal is making sure kids have an opportunity to enjoy science activities so that once they hit that age when they get to decide whether or not they want to take science or what kind of math they are going to take that they at least consider taking some courses so that they can keep some doors open,” Lautenschlager said.
Kids took part in activities like cookie mining, making casts on medical science day, and even extracted DNA from bananas.
The program was made possible by WISE Kid-Netic Energy, a non-profit organization based at the University of Manitoba that reaches approximately 30,000 students each year in Manitoba through workshops, camp, clubs and special events. Monsanto and the Western School Division was also instrumental in making the Energy Science and Engineering Camp possible.
“Western School Division helped subsidize registration fees for students this year so the fees were a little bit lower this year,”  Lautenschlager said. “We’re also part of an organization called Actua and they also offered some support.”