Germanna Community College hosted a week-long summer camp for 250 kids ages 7-14 in partnership with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office as part of their Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office Summer Camp series to introduce kids to the engineering process through various STEM activities.

Students were divided by age group and there was a Spotsylvania County School Resource Officer (SRO) located in each classroom to assist kids with their activities. Engineering students from Germanna assisted with the classroom teaching and talked to students about looking at the designs through an engineering process.

The lessons included building and testing an unsinkable boat out of recycled materials, designing and, building and testing a marshmallow catapult out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and other materials. Other activities included designing and building a paper bridge and testing its strength.

Students were introduced to classes that Germanna Community College offers in the engineering field. In September 2020, Germanna received $634,938 in funding from GO Virginia toward a $1 million Tech Talent Pipeline Project that aims to train more than 200 students for high-demand engineering, information technology, computer science, and cyber-related professions in the Fredericksburg region.

GO Virginia is a state-funded initiative administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) that strengthens and diversifies Virginia’s economy and fosters the creation of higher-wage jobs in strategic industries.

The two-year Tech Talent Pipeline Project will create engineering, IT, computer science, and cyber pathways programs at Germanna for middle and high school students and adults entering the workforce.

“Working with students through this summer camp is the first step in introducing the next generation of engineering students into our pipeline,” said Amy Henecke, Dean of Professional and Technical Studies and Workforce Development at Germanna.

Germanna gave information to students and their parents about course offerings and how to apply to Germanna as an option for higher education in the region.

William Beale, Chairman of the GO Virginia Region 6 Council, said “It has been shown that engaging students in early childhood to engineering activities help them think of these careers later in life.”

Germanna will host classes beginning in the fall for courses that are part of their tech talent pipeline project.