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Evi Hoch of the Wilo Foundation in Germany hands out green Wilo backpacks Wednesday morning, June 14, to Camp STEMtastic participants with the assistance of Dr. Grady Enlow, TU’s Vice President for Advancement.


Wilo Foundation representatives visit TU’s Camp STEMtastic

On Wednesday, June 14, representatives from the Wilo Foundation in Germany and Wilo representatives from Chicago and Thomasville joined 30 rising sixth-graders in this year’s Camp STEMtastic as the students learned about the science of flight.

This is the fourth year for Camp STEMtastic, an annual science and technology camp for students in the Thomasville area recommended by their teachers based on the students’ interest in and aptitude for subjects in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

This year the first week included rising sixth-graders learning about the science of flight. The second week will include rising seventh-graders learning about marine and freshwater ecology. The third week will be ninth-graders learning about robotics. The ninth-graders are the original group whose members began Camp STEMtastic four years ago. Each year a new group of about 30 students are added to the program.

One of major funders for Camp STEMtastic has been the Wilo Foundation. The Wilo company has a production location here in Thomasville. The Wilo Foundation is located in Germany, which is also the company’s headquarters. Last year the Wilo Foundation made a donation to benefit Camp STEMtastic for three years. This was the first donation this foundation made to an organization in the U.S.

Wilo Foundation representatives from Germany included Dr. Hans-Jӧrg Bullinger and Evi Hoch. Wilo guests from the Chicago office of Wilo USA LLC included Gary Mannus, Timothy Ruppert and Jessica Simon. Representing the Thomasville location was Patricia Choice.

During their visit, the Wilo Foundation representatives gave campers green Wilo backpacks to use during their adventures. Then the group joined the campers as they visited the Thomasville Municipal Airport to learn more about aircraft. Later the campers learned about unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, and tried their hands at flying the aircraft.

Other sponsors of Camp STEMtastic include the Antiques Show Foundation and individuals in the Thomas County area.


Wilo representatives join campers in a photo on Wednesday, June 14, taken during a drone presentation by Ethan Lovett of Summerhill Digital.


During a dinner Thursday evening, June 15, Wilo and Thomas University officials gather for a photo. Included are (from left) Dr. Hans-Jӧrg Bullinger, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Wilo Foundation; Gary Mannus, President Region Americas with Wilo; Evi Hoch, Executive Director of the Wilo Foundation; Dr. Susan Lynn, TU Chair of the Division of Education; Dr. Grady Enlow, TU Vice President for Institutional Advancement; April Penton, faculty member of the TU Division of Education and Camp STEMtastic organizer; Jennifer Hamilton, faculty member of the TU Division of Education and Camp STEMtastic organizer; Timothy Ruppert, President of Wilo USA LLC.

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