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Let There be...Dirt?!

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

STEM Camp 2019 - Session 1, Day 2 = DIRT!

Each day of the NSED Academy just keeps getting more interesting. After day one of breaking apart and reassembling their computers, day two allowed the students who did not have functioning computers to research and troubleshoot how to fix their problems. Some students’ computers let out beeps when they tried to test their computers, letting it be known that there was a problem. They asked questions and researched what those beeps could mean to help repair their computers. After all the students completely rebuilt their computers, they reviewed the different components of a computer, such as the hard drive, power supply, and processor.

Not only did the students continue to gain knowledge about technology, they also got the chance to go outside and learn something a bit different than what is normally taught in a classroom. The guest speaker for today, Mr. Keith Norris, talked to the students about something that the students would not have predicted to be included in the curriculum, dirt! Mr. Norris volunteers at a YMCA, teaching children about soil and how plants, and humans, benefit from it. The students watched Dirt: The Movie, which showed how dirt is used in many different ways and in many different cultures.

Following the movie, the students took a trip outside and Mr. Norris explained to them how dirt was created. He also described how -according to some world religions- humans were developed from the soil on Earth. Mr. Norris ended his visit by giving the students a plant to tend to, in the effort of getting the students to understand how the plant functions and how it behaves.

So far, each day in the NSED Academy brings something completely new for the students to explore. From computers to something as simple as dirt, the students are gaining knowledge in all areas of STEM. For me, I actually enjoyed Mr. Norris and his love for the Earth. Mr. Norris was really involved with the students, getting them to feel and smell the dirt. Today’s experience inspired not only the students, but also myself to look at the World differently.

Written and Photographed by Onnia Thomas

Majoring in Computer Information Systems, Onnia is a STEM Camp 2019 intern and rising senior at Virginia Union University.

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