‘It kind of gives you a sense of power’; the Hackers and Makers Camp teaches Winston-Salem kids to find possibilities in creating

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — From creating beautiful works of art, to making Rube Goldberg machines from scraps and paper rollercoaster fun, there’s plenty for students to do at Hanes Magnet School’s Hackers and Makers Camp.

David Draper is the camp director. He says this camp is designed for fun. But nestled in that fun is lots of learning.

“I want kids to be able to develop some kind of a lifelong passion that they have, that is their own making that they can do. You know, if they’re not depending on somebody else, they can do it themselves,” Draper says.

Hackers and Makers is more than just a catchy name. Draper says: “It’s capitalizing on the movement of makers, people being able to make different things and use their hands and manipulate things. So, you know, they can make things.”

He adds, “The hacker part is kind of a white hat hackers. It’s not, you know, we’re not teaching our kids to hack into computer systems and stuff. It’s more about how do you take something and give it an alternate use? How do you change it and make it have some other possibilities? Some other uses that that would be cool and interesting.”

The camp has two one weeklong sessions. Each day is divided in to three two-hour blocks which Draper says gives the students time to really learn and develop their skills.

For friends Bridget Pilla and Kaleigh Heath this camp truly means summer fun… especially when it comes to building their own rockets. The construction appeals to Bridget most. “The most fun part is probably building it, because like after you build it and you get to launch it, you actually get to see like your creation work. Then I think there’s like, I think that’s really cool. And it kind of gives you a sense of power. It’s really fun.”

But for Kaleigh it was hard to figure out what she liked most.  “I’ve learned how to use Tinkercad and 3D modeling and design,” she said. “And I made a whole bunch of designs in that, and it was really, really fun. And the rocket making. I learned how to make advanced rockets and it was all very exciting.”

As the excitement builds, so does their passion for new skills that could set them in a lifelong learning path.

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