Most of us have heard of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), but a new spin on the abbreviation, STEAM, adds art to the mix. As part of any good 21st century educational experience, creativity and curiosity must be encouraged in addition to digital literacy, the sciences, and mathematics. Now, STEAM summer camps are encouraging children to explore these topics in fun, creative environments that bring the subjects out of books and into real life.
In an article for Ozobot, titled Expanding Horizons: What STEAM Summer Camps Can Do For Your Kids, the topic is explored and 12 great aspects of STEAM camps are laid out for parent’s consideration.
One of the most impressive ways in which STEAM introduces children to new experiences is by bringing science to life. Rather than exploring the topics as abstract concepts in reading material, STEAM gives kids a chance to interact with not only the physical act of science but also with the scientists themselves. The chance to meet, talk to, and ask questions of an astronaut makes space exploration a more tangible, exciting topic. The programs cover a wide variety of subjects such as medicine, robotics, cooking, aquarists, coding, video game creation, and more.
Because of the nature of the camps, they are fun for children from all walks of life, regardless of whether they intend to pursue a career in STEAM. As stated in the Ozobot article, “Boyer uses the analogy that most students don’t grow up to become novelists, but writing is still a valuable skill in communicating with the world. The same concept applies to STEAM skills.” The opportunity to be engaged in these activities is an opportunity to have fun, explore, and gain a greater understanding of various STEAM topics without the pressures of grading or expectations.
The programs however do show statistical evidence of increasing a child’s interest in STEAM fields. A survey of children from the Bronx found a 25% increase in children’s interest in math and science, and a 21% decrease in the idea that careers in engineering and architecture were out of reach.
In addition to the creative enrichment, STEAM also prevents summer learning loss by providing a low-pressure environment where children can catch up to their peers. This also helps build confidence which students can take with them when they return to the new school year. Interestingly, this extra boost of self-assurance is especially beneficial to girls, who tend to rate their performance in mathematics 27% lower than boys, despite comparable talent levels.
STEAM summer camps are also inclusive of all ages and learning abilities. There are camps for those as young as PRE-K or Kindergarten, as well as camps for children with learning disabilities. Additionally, older students, such as high-schoolers, can benefit from preparing for campus life through the programs that STEAM offers.
Lastly, but not least, the camps also offer an opportunity for students to improve their social skills by interacting with a wide range of new peers and immersing themselves in activities that are new to them and that they may have been afraid to attempt before. This socialization also hones emotional intelligence, empathy, and skills needed for compromise and cooperation.
These factors combine to make STEAM an excellent option for a fun, enriching program for students of all ages and backgrounds. Read more below to find out about Mind Foundry’s own STEAM summer camp offerings!
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Are you looking for something amazing for your child to do this summer in Minneapolis that will be fun and excite their creativity? Mind Foundry is providing Summer Camp sessions at sites throughout Minneapolis. Our engaging camps this summer include Robotix, Wings Academy, Intelligent Cities, Deep Sea Explorers, and Computing Cafe. To read more details, please check out our Summer course catalog.
Camps run Monday — Friday 9am — 3pm at a cost of $250 per week. Before and after care available. Discounts available for siblings as well as for multiple weeks.
Mind Foundry is committed to providing accessible, high-quality 21st century learning to all. Limited scholarships and sliding scale pricing available to those that qualify. Register your child, using this link, and get started with Mind Foundry summer camps, today!