Carus Hosts Two STEM Camps, Unveils “Pack the School” Challenge

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Carus Hosts Two STEM Camps, Unveils “Pack the School” Challenge

PERU, IL – July was a busy month as Carus LLC celebrated 20 years of Summer Science Camp, introduced a new one-day camp for younger students and started a school supply challenge for Illinois Valley businesses.

The Carus Summer Science Camp at St. Bede Academy featured a full week of STEM programming for incoming sixth-grade students. The camp was led by local science teachers Dan Fitzpatrick and Angelique Depenbrock, with support from several volunteers.

“A STEM education can open so many doors for young students and that is why we passionately support Summer Science Camp and other education initiatives,” said Carus LLC President and CEO, Andy Johnston. Summer camps are an American tradition, but many did not survive the pandemic. “That made celebrating the 20th anniversary of Carus Summer Science Camp even more special,” said Johnston.

Graduates of Illinois Valley’s popular Summer Science Camp celebrated with a huge graduation party at St. Bede Academy. Past graduates joined in the celebration, along with a special STEM career panel to mark the camp’s 20th anniversary. “Campers enjoyed hearing from panelists who use science and technology every day at work,” said Carus Communications Manager, JoLynn Anzelc. “It’s great for students in sixth grade to start thinking about their future career path, and this year we wanted to bring that same opportunity to younger students,” Anzelc continued.

Carus also expanded their partnership with Illinois Valley Community College to introduce a new one-day science camp for students ages six, seven and eight. Carus chemists Rachel Dawson-Hince and Akila Karunanayake hosted the “Science ‘Fun’damentals” camp for young students as part of IVCC’s summer camp series. Students explored the states of matter, learned basic lab safety rules and discussed the process of the scientific method. Campers also learned about the Periodic Table of Elements and created bouncy balls using the power of chemistry.

This summer, Carus unveiled the first ever “Pack the School Challenge” in the Illinois Valley. Carus employees at the Peru headquarters and LaSalle manufacturing site teamed up to collect $879 in employee donations for a school supply drive benefitting Northwest Elementary School in LaSalle. Carus matched the employee donations bringing the total to nearly $2,000 in school supplies.

Carus employees saw an opportunity to make a bigger impact, and they turned to Facebook to challenge another local business to donate school supplies to a teacher or school in the community. Machinery Maintenance, Inc. stepped up to the challenge and donated nearly $1,000 in school supplies to local teachers, then went on to challenge two more businesses.

“The idea came from an employee event planning meeting,” said Ashley Swingel, Marketing and Communications Specialist. “The start of the school year can be stressful for families, and when the team came up with this idea, we knew it would be a great thing for the community. We’re excited to see other Illinois Valley businesses step up to the challenge to support local schools and teachers.”

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Carus Employees Donate Nearly 2000 of School Supplies to Northwest Elementary School
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