Campers apply STEM to building new guitars

June 16, 2016 / by / 0 Comment


Connor Lapham, a Metropolitan Arts Institute junior, displays the body of the guitar he has sanded, waxed, sealed and dyed in GCU’s Amp Up summer STEM camp.

Story and Photos by Laurie Merrill
GCU News Bureau

Connor Lapham took a moment to glance up from the guitar he is building.

Lapham shows the next stage of building his guitar.

Lapham shows the next stage of building his guitar.

Lapham, a junior at the Metropolitan Arts Institute in Phoenix, has sanded, sealed and dyed the solid body of his brown electric guitar.

He had several steps to go before plugging in his new instrument and playing it, but by the time camp ended today he and the other camp participants will have constructed their own, hand-made guitars.

“I always wanted to mess with guitars, and now I get to learn how they are put together,” said Nicholas Marcantonio, an Arcadia High School senior. “It’s really fun.”

Lapham and Marcantonio are among the students enrolled in Amp Up! Electric Guitars and STEM, one of the GCU summer camps that integrates STEM disciplines into daily lives.

“It’s fascinating looking at all the science and engineering and math that goes into music,” Amanda Hughens, GCU’s K-12 STEM outreach manager, said Wednesday during a tour of GCU’s recording studio.  “The thing I like best about STEM is that it’s ‘life done correctly.’ ”


Recording Studio Manager Eric Johnson, with his back to the camera, gives STEM campers a tour of the studio.

Students from the Robots, Web Design and Gaming summer camp joined the guitar-builders for a tour of one of GCU’s newest treasures, the state-of-the art, high-tech recording studio where the Canyon Worship 2016 album was recently produced.

Some hoped to return to the studio with their new guitars.

But first, more building was on the agenda. Campers were planning to complete the guitar arms that contain the tuning pegs, add strings and install electronics.

Contact Laurie Merrill at (602) 639-6511 or 

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