GCCC Hosts Hands-On STEM Summer Camp for Local High School Students

[Garden City, KS] June 10, 2024  -- Garden City Community College successfully hosted its third annual STEM summer camp, "Science is Everywhere," from June 4-6, offering three days of immersive, hands-on learning experiences for 13 area high school students.

The camp featured six interactive sessions spanning multiple scientific disciplines, providing students with practical knowledge and experience in various fields:

Forensic Science: Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Brandy Unruh and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Robert Scrivner guided campers through the fundamentals of fingerprinting, crime scene investigation techniques, and using super glue and black lights to detect fingerprints and DNA evidence.

Fire Science: Fire Science Instructor Jason Holland introduced campers to the science of fire, demonstrating states of matter, the process of pyrolysis, and thermal imaging cameras to measure heat and temperature. Campers also engaged in fire-related experiments, including lighting matches and candles, and popping popcorn kernels with a candle.

Chemistry: Associate Professor of Chemistry Daniel Kyinakwa and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Cory Kristalyn assisted campers in synthesizing acetaminophen using a microwave reactor, analyzing its purity through melting point determination, and confirming its identity with proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Anatomy & Physiology: Assistant Professor of Science Sara Gaut guided campers in exploring the intricacies of human organs, tissues, and systems. Campers discussed various body systems and organs through group activities, participated in a short cadaver tour, and dissected hearts, uteruses, bladders, stomachs, eyes, and fetal pigs.

Animal Science: Animal Science Professor Dr. Clint Alexander and Animal Science Instructor Skyler Glenn taught campers about meat curing and processing. Campers participated in a hands-on lab stuffing summer sausages and explored key concepts in the meat and food industry, including natural, organic, Omega-3s, and uncured products.

Plant Science: Assistant Professor of Crop Production Technology Elisa Mai guided campers in exploring basic agronomy principles, identifying insects and weeds, collecting soil samples, and planting seeds to take home.

The summer camp is in collaboration with GCCC’s Title III STEM Grant, a $5 million grant from the Department of Education awarded in September 2021. This grant supports the expansion of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instruction, the development of new programs in Cybersecurity, Robotics, and Crop Production, and the establishment of the STEM Success Center at GCCC.

For more information on the Title III STEM program, contact Misty Wren, Title III Grant Outreach Coordinator, at misty.wren@gcccks.edu or 620-275-3288.

Stay updated on all things GCCC STEM Central by visiting and following the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gcccksstemcentral.


GCCC Assistant Professor of Science Sara Gaut with a group of campers during the Anatomy & Physiology session of the 2024 STEM Summer Camp.

GCCC Assistant Professor of Science Sara Gaut with a group of campers during the Anatomy & Physiology session of the 2024 STEM Summer Camp.


Garden City Community College exists to produce positive contributors to the economic and social well-being of society.


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