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Forget Archery, These STEM-Focused Campers Are All About Robotics and Chemistry

Education World – Joel Stice

“Some campers this summer are skipping on traditional summer camp activities like canoeing to try their hand at something a little more futuristic — like, fighting robots for example. “You start out with a picture of the robot,” said 11-year-old, Mateo Dody. “You uncheck (the box) when you’re done with a step, and you go to the next step. It’s quite simple.” Dody is just one of many students around the country this summer participating in STEM-based summer camps. The camps focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) have students working on everything building solar ovens to roast s’mores to using forensics to search for clues in mock crime scenes. It’s a way for educators to connect with students who have a passion for science and math in a no-pressure environment. The camps run the gamut from some that are free and just a few hours over the course of a week, to others that can be expensive and cover a good chunk of the summer. They’re tailored to different age levels and interests, to offer students programs that are not only fun, but challenging.”(more)

Summer and after-school programs can promote social and emotional learning

ED Source – Jennifer Peck and David Plank

“When we think of school we too often picture rows of students sitting quietly at their desks, listening to the teacher or reading a textbook. This familiar image of a quiet classroom and docile students is and should be increasingly outdated. The state’s new Common Core and Next Generation science standards require teachers to teach and students to learn in more dynamic ways. They raise the bar for subject-matter knowledge in English, math and science. These standards also aim to ensure that students engage in deeper learning by focusing on what are sometimes called “the four C’s:” communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. These are skills that are essential for success in today’s job market that cannot be nurtured if students are sitting quietly in rows in the classroom.”(more)

49ers Launch Football and STEM Academy Summer Camp Program

Forty Niners Football Company – Emily Lucas

“Last week, the San Francisco 49ers launched its Football and STEM Academy summer camp program to extend the organization’s impact on youth education about football and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) concepts…In addition to discovering the important values of education and fitness, the camp afforded students with specially-designed activities that teach the fundamentals of football and STEM while learning how to apply important life skills such as respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and teamwork.”(more)

STEM, education camps reboot youngsters’ creativity

Chron – Andrea Vasquez

“”STEM camps serve as a spark to ignite the passions of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, especially elementary-aged students,” said Andrew Vines, San Jacinto College department chair for chemistry, engineering, geology and physics. “Camps offer middle and high school students the opportunity to explore the many careers available to them in STEM as they decide which pathways to pursue in their lives.” For information on specific camp dates, times and registration, visit sanjac.edu/summer-camps. The Young Writers of Fantasy Fiction camp, ages 8-13, guides students through writing fantasy fiction. The camp will be held on the Central Campus, June 6-10, and the camp fee is $65. In the Arduino Network Team camp, students ages 12-16 will use Arduino kits to learn how NASA communicates with robotic probes in space. The camp takes place at the Central Campus, and the camp fee is $155. For specific camp dates, visit the San Jacinto College summer camps website.”(more)

Why Summer Vacations Should Be Shorter

The Atlantic – Laura McKenna

“An array of political and education leaders, including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, have championed a longer school year…A large body of evidence suggests that the 12-week hiatus can have a lasting negative impact on kids’ educational outcomes. “The Summer Slide” results in several lost months of reading and math skills, particularly among children who come from lower-income households…Some districts, hoping to avoid the summer slide, have been experimenting with novel year-round calendars…There is no question that families need help in the summer. While there isn’t the political will to increase the number of traditional classroom days, creative policy-making could provide new options for summer instruction.”(more)

Mandarin camp starts early

China Daily USA – HEZI JIANG

“”Don’t forget your belongings,” teacher Sun Yi warned in Mandarin. The dozen or so 5- to 7-year-old New Yorkers sitting on the floor didn’t seem to be paying much attention. “Shall we row a boat or get a cab?” she asked, again in Mandarin. No English is allowed in thise class. That question got the kids’ attention. “Zuo chuan! Zuo chuan!” the kids shouted, row a boat. “Chuzuche!” (a cab), yelled others. The group had toured Wong Tai Sin Temple the day before and this morning were heading to Lautan Island, the largest island in Hong Kong, to see the Tian Tan Buddha – all in their classroom on Manhattan’s Upper West Side…At Mandarin summer camp, finding the right engaging themes is critical…They decided on class adventures to the Mandarin-speaking world. With the teacher acting as a tour guide, the kids go on interactive journeys to six destinations in six weeks – Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Xi’an, Taiwan and Chengdu.”(more)