Science and Technology News

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Team 5-0 family member selected for AFSVA Technology Camp

by Brian Hagberg
50th Space Wing Public Affairs


8/26/2015 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A Team 5-0 family member was one of the 29 youth selected to attend the inaugural Air Force Services Activity Technology Camp Aug. 10-14 at the Drury Plaza Hotel North in San Antonio, Texas.

Hagen Burnett, the son of Caryn Burnett, 50th Operation Support Squadron resource adviser, and a 6th grade student at Ellicott Middle School, was selected based on an essay displaying his passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, according to Condredge Fisher, AFSVA youth programs branch chief.

"The selection process included reviewing a 200-word essay or video submitted via YouTube by each youth," Fisher said. "The essay or video was to explain something the youth created within STEM. We looked at which youth expressed a real passion for STEM."

Caryn said she thought the camp would be a good way for Hagen to see how STEM can be applied outside of a classroom setting.

"He's always been really in to technology and engineering type stuff so I thought it was an opportunity for him to get to participate and it not be just school," she said.

The camp covered areas such as robotics, video game design, 3-D printing, hardware engineering/circuits and software design/coding.

"My favorite part about the camp was the raspberry pie," Hagen said. "It wasn't actually a food, it's a device. They call it a raspberry pie."

The raspberry pie can be connected to other electronic devices, such as a television, and allow that device to be used as a computer for programming, he added.

"The focus of the camp was to teach them how to create technology, not just use it," Caryn said.

One of the practical uses for technology that struck a chord with Hagen was the use of 3-D printers to create prosthetics for children impacted by the war in Sudan. Members of Not Impossible-Project Daniel traveled to Sudan to set up a lab that used 3-D printers to create the prostheses.

"There were people who went down there and spent all their money for 3-D printers and started making everybody arms, hands, limbs, it was really cool," Hagen said.

If given the opportunity, Hagen would like to participate in a similar project, he added.

In the short term, he said his experience at the camp has helped him gain an appreciation for mathematics and made the subject easier for him.

"We did a lot of mathematics [at the camp]," he said. "It did actually help me with school a lot. I'm really better at math now."

He said they used math to assist with rocket building and targeting, as well as with programming video games and coding.

"I never liked math, up until now," he said. "Now it's ok. It's not my favorite, but it's ok."

Caryn said his experience at the camp has made getting math homework complete less of a struggle.

"He learned the value of math, which is what I wanted to happen so we'd stop having that battle," she laughed.

Hagen said he definitely wants to attend the camp again.

"I think this is a better learning experience, they should do this in every school," he said.

Caryn said she was very pleased with the camp because it brought STEM to life for Hagen.

"This was a great opportunity for him to see and work with people to see how cool, really everything cool you have based on math and science," she said. "This was a great opportunity to keep him inspired and keep him moving forward."

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