For one week in late June, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) offered an overnight STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focused summer camp for deaf/hard of hearing and blind/visually impaired students. The camp was free of charge for students between the ages of 13-17 years old that reside in the state of Florida. Campers enjoyed a variety of activities allowing them to explore different STEM topics and exposure to STEM occupations through hands-on experiences and labs. Touching and feeding a dolphin at Marineland of Florida, learning how to surf from the Florida Surfing Association through an event called “Silent Surfers” and completing an obstacle course zip line at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm were just a few of the highlights at the camp. Students also completed various labs with a Mad Scientist and FSDB camp staff such as cabbage litmus paper, creating their own biome, making polymer balls, air pressure, circuit building, and touch/taste/feel dry ice just to name a few!
This camp was funded in part by DeafTec, a National Science Foundation-funded Center of Excellence, which is one of approximately 40 Centers across the United States. DeafTEC is unique in the fact that its focus is on a particular audience, deaf and hard-of-hearing students, rather than on a technical discipline.