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Engineering camp to give kids hands-on experience
STEM camp pic
Stanislaus States Dr. Viji Sundar has hosted many math camps in the past and this year she teamed up with youth empowerment group Invest In Me to organize an engineering camp for 4th and 5th graders. - photo by Photo Contributed

Kids can spend four days this summer building bridges, rollercoasters and skyscrapers as part of a STEM Engineering Camp, hosted by the Dr. Sundar Math Center and featuring lessons from the first female engineer to own her own firm.

“Children are born with an engineering gene,” said Dr. Viji Sundar, founder and president of DSMC and professor of mathematics at Stanislaus State. “They want to build and, in the process, dream of structures that may not hold up according to the laws of nature.”

The purpose of the STEM Engineering Camp is to allow those dreams to come to life, said Sundar, providing an opportunity for children to construct buildings and other structures while questioning and understanding the principles of engineering.

“The joy and the challenge will awaken their curiosity to know more about science and mathematics,” she said.

The 4th and 5th graders who enroll in the camp will got hands-on engineering experience, using household items and recyclables like bottles, cans and cardboard boxes to make structures. The goal of the camp is to awaken the “Engineer in You!” and will be taught by Rapunzel Amador-Lewis.

Lewis is a professional engineer, and serves as the President and Principal Engineer of her own engineering firm, Amador Lewis, Inc. She received the San Joaquin Engineering Council’s 2014 Distinguished Engineer of the Year Award, which recognized not only her performance as an engineer, but also her dedication to passing on her passion for engineering to younger generations. Lewis will be assisted by two undergraduates during the camp, who will act as coaches and mentors.

Sundar is hosting the camp through DSMC, which she founded in an effort to provide both professional and educational services to the community. She teamed up with Invest In Me, a young women’s empowerment group based out of Patterson, to give local children the chance to discover more about engineering.

The STEM Engineering Camp will take place from July 24 to 27, with each camp day beginning and 9 a.m. and ending at noon in Room C11 at Creekside Middle School in Patterson, 535 Peregrine Drive. The camp is open to 4th and 5th graders, and to register, visit Registration is $50 until July 21, and $75 after that. For more information, send an email to