Camp Invention student participants took some time-out from STEM-related activity modules on Thursday, July 13 to welcome a special guest and real-life STEM hero Dr. Marshall Jones, the 2017 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee.
Dr. Jones, a mechanical engineer at General Electric (GE) Global Research, was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in May for his pioneered use of lasers for industrial materials processing. The veteran engineer’s inventions have earned 55 patents so far, with more pending.
A strong supporter of youth STEM initiatives, Dr. Marshall travels to schools throughout the country, educating children about lasers and sharing his inspirational story of overcoming his own struggles in school to reach success as a trailblazer in the field of Industrial Lasers. During his visit, Dr. Marshall visited Camp Invention classrooms and participated in a question and answer session with older students in Grades 5-6.
When asked if he always wanted to be an engineer, Dr. Jones explained that engineering was his back-up plan, what he really wanted to do was wrestle. However, when Dr. Jones was injured, he decided to get his degree and wound up graduating with a bachelor of science from the University of Michigan (Number 6 in the nation for engineering programs).
“Dr. Jones’ visit helps to give students an idea of what could happen when they follow their passion, and see that there a ton of ways to enter STEM-related fields,” said Shaker High School technology teacher Brian Ashline and director of the camp. “Hopefully the students leave the camp with a lot of excitement and a dedication to follow STEM-related educational pathways.”
“The main goal is to expose students to hands-on challenges that promote problem-solving, creative thinking, and teamwork; with skills like those a child can pursue any career path they want.” said Ashline.
Camp Invention is on its third year at Shaker High School with 120 students participating in the summer enrichment program this year. Like every year previously, the program centers on students putting their brains to the test in fun, innovative ways and in turn peaking their interest into STEM related fields.
Ashline and assistant director Hope Dils, a Shaker High School English teacher, guide five teachers, 10 junior high school counselors in training, and 17 high school leadership interns over the course of the week-long camp. Ashline and Dils hand-picked the leadership interns, students at Shaker who exhibited a strong knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering and math.