EAGLE RIVER - Camp doesn't involve bonfires, hiking and the outdoors for one group of Northwoods middle schoolers. Instead, their camp gets them ready for high school engineering classes and beyond.
"It's a lot more complicated than most people think," said eighth grader Hunter Indermuehle.
He is one of eighteen 6th, 7th, and 8th graders spending this week back in the classroom for Engineering Camp at Northland Pines.
"It's just really fun to do it. You get to engineer stuff. You have to make a bunch of different kinds of stuff. You've got to design it. You've got to look at your parts and then you've got to assemble it," Indermuehle explained.
Teachers hope the program gets more students interested in STEM fields. Those are careers that include science, technology, engineering and math. So far this week students have made hovercraft and created devices that keep eggs safe when dropped. They've also taken a few field trips to visit local engineers.
"Today, we're going to mess around with some robotics. So a lot of programming has been done in the course so far to kind of prepare them for today which is the robotics part," said Northland Pines Math teacher John Hayes. "We're using two iPad or iPhone or iPod-type robots that they're going to actually program to go through a maze, or even to go around obstacles. So that's kind of our goal today is that hopefully they're prepped enough so that they can, you know, write that code because it's pretty tricky. I mean it would be hard for an adult to write the code and we're asking 6th,7th, and 8th graders to write it."
Experts say only three in ten people graduating in STEM fields are women, and only one in ten engineers are women. The teachers hope to change that. They've seen more girls participate in the camp over the years.
"If you learn some of this stuff now it helps you in college," said 6th grader Madesen VanOrder. "I either want to be a fashion designer or an engineer or a zoologist and that will help me in all three of those."
"We are the future and I think that every kid should at least have a little bit of an understanding on how engineers work," Indermuehle said. "So, it's really important just to think, not taking everything for granted."
SEYMOUR, IND. - A chain-reaction crash in southern Indiana killed a Minocqua couple on Wednesday morning.
Glenn Cardelli and his wife, Kathryn, both 57 years old, were traveling in south an RV near Seymour, Ind., on Interstate 65. The RV was behind a semi and an SUV, both of which slowed due to highway maintenance.
Another semi failed to slow down behind the stalled traffic and crashed into the Cardellis' RV. The crash killed the couple and John Mumma, 67, an Illinois man driving the SUV.
The vehicles caught fire. Interstate 65 was closed for about eleven hours for cleanup and crash investigation.
WOODRUFF - Shoveling snow can hurt your back. But some may not know that staring at all that snow can hurt your eyes.
The term albedo tells us the amount of light that's either absorbed into the ground or reflected back up. On days like Friday, the snow pack will really make it look brighter out and boost the albedo amount. That's hard on the eyes.
Dr. Kirby Redman is an Optometrist in Woodruff. He says there are simple ways to protect your eyes from the sun's damaging rays.
RHINELANDER - A former contracted janitor accused of sexually assaulting a Rhinelander student appears headed for a trial.
Stavros Iliopoulos appeared in Oneida County Court on Friday afternoon. Attorneys told Judge Michael Bloom they had not reached a plea deal. Bloom decided to schedule one final pre-trial conference for late August before a two-day jury trial was set for Sept. 4 and 5.
In late November, police said Iliopoulos, 65, took a girl into a dark closet and hugged, kissed, and touched her inappropriately at Northwoods Community Elementary School, a public charter school in Harshaw.
Iliopoulos worked for a contracted company, Victory Janitorial, at the time.
All sorts of animals are affected by icy conditions. Some Northern Wisconsin owls dive INTO the snow to hunt small rodents. But recent freezing rain has formed an ice crust that owls can't break through. That means owls are beginning to starve.
Amanda Schirmer has been working at the Northwoods Wilderness Center for the past four years. She says that owls may hang around birdfeeders to prey on smaller birds. They may also be seen near roads.
THREE LAKES - Plenty of Three Lakes High School students didn't know what they want to do for a career as of Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, many still weren't sure, but dozens got an inside look at possible careers.
The school held its annual Career Day on Friday morning. About 25 presenters included police, an FBI agent, college teachers, and graphic designers.
The school first held Career Day in 2009. Organizers hope students realize they have plenty of opportunities close to home.
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