The Learning Center! Charter School recently teamed up with California based, high-tech company, Table Top Inventing to challenge area students with hands-on experiences in emerging technologies. The company’s traveling science workshops, called, Project 5S Top Secret Inventor’s Boot Camp is the brain-child of Table Top Inventing founder and CEO, Steve Kurti, who grew up in and around Murphy and Franklin, NC.
The Learning Center! partnered with Table Top Inventing from July 24th through July 29th as part of the school’s themed summer enrichment offerings, designed to challenge students and keep their thinking skills in tip-top condition over the summer break.
Murphy was one of five stops across the U.S. for Project 5S Top Secret Inventor’s Boot Camp, designed for middle and high school students.
Murphy area Inventors Boot Camp students were immersed in hands-on learning, using emerging technologies such as 3D printing, 3D design, artificial intelligence, and physical computing - in an action-packed scenario involving international spies and intrigue. Steve Kurti, self proclaimed “Chief Maker and Mad Scientist” holds a PhD in physics and has an undergraduate minor in education. Together with his wife, Debby, who has a Masters degree in Educational Technology, they make a dynamic team committed to creating interesting learning activities focused on the cutting edge of emerging technologies. Debby Kurti remarked, “The 3D printer the students used is not the complicated or amazing thing. It’s just a tool. The truly amazing thing is what happens inside the kid’s head. Kids start to look at the world in a different way. They become makers and creators of technology instead of consumers of technology. This empowers them to create.” When asked about the success of the program from her perspective, Learning Center director, Mary Jo Dyre noted, “I had anticipated that Project 5S would be a good experience for all students that attended. However, I truly underestimated this STEM Bootcamp experience. The level of student engagement and challenge was over-the-top.” She went on to say, “Not only will our school work with Steve Kurti and Tabletop Inventing to bring this program back to our campus next summer, we are presently working through the details of establishing a “Maker’s Space” here on The Learning Center! Charter School campus. A twenty-first century education is indeed unfolding here at our school.”