HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Several classrooms at William Carey University's Tradition campus were filled with students on Saturday. For the most part, the students weren't there to get a college degree. Dozens of elementary students from across the Coast came together for Carey's Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead Creativity Camp.
"It's for the kids who like to be creative," said 9-year-old Jordan Wallace.
The students at the camp were from gifted programs across the southern part of the state. The camp focused on science, technology, engineering, art and math.
"It's going to be very, very exciting for me, because I've never done this before," said 7-year-old Stephen Miles.
According to Dr. Christina Liverett, the camp also had another purpose.
"The students who are obtaining their masters here at William Carey University have a hands-on practicum experience," said Liverett.
The staff was made up of teachers working towards masters degrees and endorsements, like Amanda Miller, teacher at Crossroads Elementary.
"Students learn differently, and students have different strengths and talents. We always need to play on those strengths and talents," said Miller.
In addition to providing many ways for the students to learn, Miller says this camp also incorporates aspects of common core.
"It gives them choice. It gives them creativity. They get to choose what they want to do and choose items they want to use as well," said Miller.
Miller's portion of the camp let the children work with elements of engineering, such as design, construction and experimentation. Mason Willis, 9, seemed to feel right at home throughout the process.
"Even though it takes a long time and it's really hard, whenever you finish it, it's really fun to do," said Mason.
The camp didn't just include engineering. There was also a forensic science unit that let students explore the world of crime scene investigations, and an art and design lab run by teacher Stacey Ferguson.
Ferguson said the key to teaching gifted is being able to reach as many children in as many different ways as possible.
"So that as they grow and change and learn, they can continue to grow and solve problems," said Ferguson.
That's exactly why some of these students were at the camp.
"It helps you learn things that you've never known, and it helps you learn more," said 7-year-old Gabriella Hoffman.
According to Liverett, a three day creativity camp will be held sometime this summer. To find out more, visit http://www.wmcarey.edu/.
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