Encouraging children to be lifelong learners, critical thinkers, action-takers, and global citizens is an important responsibility for parents. Many schools now teach from a STEAM focused curriculum. The primary goal of these programs is to aid in the development of well-rounded children. However, the lessons students learn become even more powerful when they are intertwined and cohesively work together, proving the practicality of their knowledge.
Summer camp can provide an environment in which those lessons can go beyond the curriculum. Children can begin putting the real-world pieces together that they have learned throughout the school year and start applying those principles in a fun and engaging manner. A STEAM approach allows your child to explore different areas of study and provides them with an understanding of how each subject is connected. Here are five reasons why you should consider a STEAM focused summer camp for your child.
1. Put a Stop to Summer Learning Loss
The dreaded “summer learning loss” has plagued classroom teachers for decades, and often contributes to wasted instructional time come September and October. A growing body of research indicates that summer programs can help students retain and build upon their learning from the previous year, especially if those programs are specifically aimed at enrichment. Camps that focus on arts and science enrichment offer a powerful combination of interactive, individualized instruction to provide children with an opportunity for focused reading, practical mathematics, as well as the lively interaction that children crave when school is out for the summer.
2. Spark an Interest in Science
Summer is a great time to encourage your children to pursue new interests that they may not normally be attracted to, including the sciences. A recent study of high school and university age students enrolled in a summer science internship program revealed that the majority of the students reported extracurricular exposure to the STEAM fields had encouraged their interest in science.
Actively applying science concepts outside of the classroom seems to have a lasting effect on children, and summer camp is a great place for them to start exploring in a fun, supportive environment. Interactive programs, like our LEGO Mindstorms sessions which provide students with an opportunity to build complicated programmable robots using simpletoys, can quite literally ignite a child’s interest in learning!
3. Create Career Interest from an Early Age
While summer camp may seem like the last place that children should be thinking about their career goals, it’s never too early to give them enrichment experiences in the STEAM fields to ignite the kind of curiosity that often leads to a fulfilling and meaningful work life. A two year study of nearly 1600 middle school students across the country revealed that “students who once participated in science summer camps were more likely to later report a career interest in the science and engineering fields”. It’s clear that enrolling your child in a STEAM focused camp is an ideal way to provide them more options as they start considering their path through high school, college, and beyond.
4. Helps Children Experience Academic Success in a Low Pressure Setting
Summer camp can actually be a nice way for children to experience the joy of academic achievement in a more supportive, low stakes environment. A recently published paper exploring how children define summer camp emphasized the qualitative benefits that a supportive, “second home” environment can have on a their perception of the learning environment.
In other words, a few weeks at camp can give your child the chance to feel safer and more supported while learning, which can, in turn, lead them to feel more confident and take greater academic risks once the school year resumes this fall.
5. Increase Arts Exposure, and Watch Their Abilities Soar
As a recent article in The Boston Globe made clear, arts education has a tremendous effect on student motivation and achievement, as well as brain development. Summer camp is a perfect time for children to explore their creativity. Quality arts instruction, especially when coupled with the sciences, gives them the opportunity to play, create, and learn in non-traditional ways that emphasize individual expression as well as real-world collaboration skills.
Giving children the opportunity to learn how to create 3D drawings or movies isn’t just fun, it encourages children to use their “big picture” visioning skills to imagine new possibilities and outcomes. These are skills that are incredibly valuable to future employers, as well as fellow community members. In addition, building creative skills can also lead to greater resilience and independence, which means that today’s children will be better equipped to turn away from the screen and seek entertainment within their own mind.
STEAM summer camps offer children the chance to learn, grow, and explore new modes of thinking and doing. A STEAM summer program can not only boost academic performance during the school year, it can also build confidence, creativity, resiliency, and ideally, will be fun!
Interested in seeing the benefits of choosing a STEAM focused summer camp first-hand? Whitby School's summer camp includes programs ranging from martial arts, to 3D printing, to rocketry, and are bound to enrich your child’s development. Click Here to Explore the Program.