Ryan Wu watched intently as an instructor slowly moved two charged wires together, but when sparks began to fly as the wires met, Wu’s face flashed first with excitement and then suddenly fear as he imagined the danger of such an experiment on a larger scale.
“Let’s just say that machine could blow the walls into the street if improperly used,” Wu, 11, said.
Wu is one of about 30 Princeton middle schoolers participating in Pace Center for Civic Engagement’s Community House STEM Summer Camp, which aims to get children excited in science, technology, engineering and math. With a different theme every week for five weeks, the students are engaging in experiments, building projects and hearing from guest speakers in Princeton University’s Carl Field’s Center. It’s all free of charge, as Princeton University covered the cost of resources. The themes include materials science, solar science, biology and chemistry.