A proud nerd organizes a S.T.E.M. summer camp

Participants in the S.T.E.M. summer camp at the Boutte Community Outreach Center.

Shamira Williams is a proud nerd who organized her first S.T.E.M. summer camp in St. Charles Parish.

“I love it,” Williams said. “I’m excited about it and love to see those moments with them when they think they can’t get it and then, ‘Ohhhh.’”

Just as it states, the camp will have 30 children age 7 to 13.

“I always have been a nerd,” she said. “I love seeing the growth bacteria and telescopes have always been my thing. Children learn by seeing and doing.”

And this is going to be featured in the camp, which is made possible through S.T.E.M.

The camp also will include learning about binary coding, the solar system, bubble blowers, magnetic slime and do-it-yourself mazes.

“It will take their minds out of the box,” she said.

Every Saturday this month, from 9 a.m. to noon, the camp will be held at Boutte Community Outreach Center.

It all fit Williams’ enthusiasm for watching children achieve and grow.

“It will take their minds out of the box.”  — Shamira Williams

“What drives me most is my nieces and nephews growing up in a world that is all electronic,” she said. “It’s not pencil and paper anymore.”

Williams recounted her 12-year-old nephew turning a soft drink bottle into a flashlight, and then he showed her how to do it. As she watched, she recalled thinking, “That is amazing. The world is shifting and we have to figure out how to keep moving on.”

Her nephew, Jayce Sandolph, who they used to call “the professor” is one of the volunteers helping her hold the S.T.E.M camp.

Williams was further amused over watching her four-year-old nephew talking to his tablet. He’d learned about the YouTube app’s verbal command and told it he wanted to see Bubble Guppies and Paw Patrol.

So, when her boss’ husband suggested she hold the camp, Williams was soundly on board.

Camp sponsors include United Way of St. Charles, Entergy and Louisiana South Human Health Services in Thibodaux.

“Hey, I can do this in my community,” she said. “I’m all about being active for the kids in the community. Whatever it is, I’m here.”

The camp made sense to this dialysis nurse who also volunteers as an afterschool tutor for children.

“We ask kids what they want to do when they grow up and they say a doctor or lawyer or teacher, but they never say a chemist,” Williams said. “We want to open their minds to other things, too.”

What is S.T.E.M.

  • S = Science
  • T = Technology
  • E = Engineering
  • M = Math

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