August 16, 2019


Interns based in DXC’s Tysons, Va. headquarters recently went to an elementary school in nearby Herndon, Va. to volunteer with RecPAC, a summer camp run by the Fairfax County Park Authority for children in grades K-7. More than 4,000 children participate Rec-PAC’s summer programming, based across several elementary schools in the county. Many of these children come from low income families, and the camp lacks many of the resources other private summer camps might have. To help alleviate some of these challenges, DXC Interns prepared some fun and educational activities for campers. DXC also donated other resources to the camp.

During their time at the camp, they ran two STEM related activities that fall under the science/engineering category. The 160 children at the location were split into two age groups.

The younger campers’ activity was about creating a shark out of a water bottle and vegetable oil, then building a diver’s cage to keep the sharks away. The point of this activity was to teach kids about why sharks float (buoyancy + oil in their livers), and to exercise their creativity by allowing them to create a diver’s cage without any instruction.

The older campers, meanwhile, created catapults capable of launching marshmallows. The kids were given limited resources, a 20-minute time constraint, and were asked to recreate an example we showed. The point of this activity was to allow the older group of kids to work on a more difficult engineering project and have them work on communications as a team. Lastly, we had them compare and discuss why some catapults went further than others (covering concepts such as increased range of motion).

The intern team had a blast teaching the children at RecPAC and were impressed by their creativity and expressive minds. Many of the children used their imagination to create new structures different from the activity, such as marshmallow monsters made with toothpicks or mini boats made with popsicle sticks. They learned something new about STEM along the way, and can dive deeper into the subject once school begins.

Lastly, volunteering isn’t the only thing one can do to help RecPAC, the program also accepts donations. You can give a child a week of summer activity for $50 or a full six weeks of summer programming for only $300. To learn more, visit the RecPAC website.