USAFA SAME Engineering & Construction Camp, June 26- July 02, 2014
The SAME Engineering & Construction Camp at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, CO is the longest running camp – 10 years. This is a hands-on program with very real engineering activities and challenge.
The camp operates under the concept of “Build then Design”. For example, in one of this camp’s most popular hands-on construction activities, students are given a basic lesson on concrete and safety issues, provided with .3 cubic yards of concrete, 3 pieces of #4 rebar and then told to construct the strongest 16 foot concrete beam. The campers, working as a Team, have approximately 3 hours to complete this activity and place their beam – this is the Build phase. At the end of camp, after the beams have cured, we break the beams, and a profession engineer leads a discussion on why certain designs worked better and how the beams failed – the Designs phase. This is typical of activities during the week-long camp.
These tasks challenge students to use their imagination, as well as their problem solving and teamwork skills. The hands-on experience helps ensure that students see, experience and retain what they learn.
Throughout the week, students also build a sprinkler systems, wood shed, waste water system, test materials and participate in team-building and problem-solving activities. Students tour the USAFA laboratories and cadet facilities and spend time with a local A&E firm.
The USAFA camp is geared toward students interested in joining a service academy and is built on a reduced scale program of what a USAFA cadet in an engineering curriculum goes through. The camp presents a great opportunity for students interested in attending a service academy to get a first-hand look at life on campus.
- Related links:
- 2009 USAFA Camp Yearbook [PDF]