LCCTC Hosts 2021 Summer Camp at MJ

July 14, 2021

The mosquito-like whine of the three-inch propeller rose as the current to the rails was applied.  The small magnetic levitation car quivered, hesitated, and then shot down and off the track to tumble to the floor.   A chorus of cheers erupted from the young students at the start of the track.

Enthusiastic comments of “That was so cool!”, “That one went way farther than mine!”, and “Let’s switch the wires on this one and see what happens!” tumbled over each other.

Ten students were clustered around a pair of tables in a carpentry lab at the Mount Joy Campus of the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center.  They were part of 40 students from schools around the county participating in the Lancaster County CTC’s Summer Camp.

The LCCTC’s Summer Camp, running through Thursday, features four popular areas of career and technology education – Advanced Manufacturing, Transportation Technologies, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Visual Communications.  The students are split into four groups and each group covers one area of study each day.

Sophia Mallios, 13, from Conestoga Valley School District, was one of the students building the MagLev cars in the Transportation Technologies group.  Sophia said that day’s project was her favorite so far from the units that she had participated in during camp.

“It’s really hard to get the wires set just right so that they brush the side rails of the track and get the electricity to run the propeller,” she said, “but if they go too far, the car gets stuck.”

Addyson Niehaus, 11, from Donegal School District, said that she enjoyed the Baking and Pastry Arts unit the best so far.

“I made cookies before at home.  It was fun to use all the big equipment in the CTC kitchen lab to make pizza,” she said. “We ate the pizza for supper.  It was so good!”

Nathan Melleby, 11, from Donegal School District, was working on a project designing personal brand logos in the Visual Communications group.  He said that his favorite project so far that week was the MagLev cars.

The Summer Camp is run each year to students to offer a glimpse into what a career and technical education can look like.  Each project is a demonstration of the hands-on instruction that students can receive at the Lancaster County CTC.

“This is a special year for the CTC Summer Camp,” explained Administrative Director Dr. Stuart Savin.  “In past years, the Summer Camp was funded from grant money that carried with it certain restrictions on who could participate in the camp.  This year, the CTC itself was able to fund the Summer Camp fully and we were able to accept any student who wanted to participate.”

Sophia Mallios studied her MagLev car and made a few small but well-considered adjustments.

“That should fix the problem,” she said to herself.  She set it on the track and the car zipped away.

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