For most people, carnival games and math don’t appear to have much in common.
But this summer at a STEAM Camp sponsored by Mohawk Industries, local Northwest GA students had the opportunity to learn firsthand the ways that science, technology, engineering, art and math come together in the most unexpected places.
Seventy-five area students ranging from rising third graders to rising ninth graders participated in the four-day carnival themed camp hosted by Gordon County College and Career Academy. Mohawk employees led several activities, providing participants an opportunity to explore the fun side of science, technology, engineering and design arts that are part of all manufacturing.
“We really enjoy hosting STEAM camp each year, because we get to show off the wide variety of disciplines and opportunities that people may not associate with a career in our industry,” Director of Technical Training Linda McEntire said. “We are a company that thrives on innovation, so we need creative problem solvers who can use their skills to implement new ideas, develop revolutionary flooring products and improve processes. This camp is a great place to start exposing local students to potential career opportunities in a fun, pressure-free environment.”
Throughout the week, participants used the skills they learned in each area to design functioning games that were available at a real carnival event the program hosted on the last day of camp.
Mohawk employees from the Learning Resource Network volunteered their time and expertise throughout the week to give guidance on projects, lead team building exercises and be a part of judging team projects based on participants’ ability to work together, their creativity and the functionality and success of their project.
“Mohawk is proud to sponsor programs like this because it gives kids hands-on experience with STEAM topics that they don’t always have the opportunity to experience,” Technical Training Specialist Sophie Molaison said. “Exposure to these fields of study help to inspire and encourage students to explore the many career paths that are available to them.”
Mohawk is a year-round sponsor of the GCCCA through a strategic partnership to help improve technical training opportunities for local high school students and develop the next generation of talented employees for the industry.
Mohawk also offers multiple programs for employees to expand their knowledge in STEAM topics, including the nationally-recognized apprenticeship program that combines work experience and classroom education as part of ongoing mechatronics training that includes mechanical, electrical, telecommunications, control and computer engineering skills. In 2015, the program met the national standards from the Department of Labor and allows any site across the U.S. to hire apprentices.