We love the concept of STEAM education, and I have always encouraged this type of learning to my children through books, hands-on activities we do, and experiences we have. This summer my children were excited to experience a week of STEM camp and they participated in the Medieval themed week. Each week of STEM camp is dedicated to four different themes, so children have a choice of picking their favourite and having different experiences.
During their week at STEM camp, there was one activity each day which was a highlight for my children - such as making a prosthetic arm dragon chomper, building a castle, making a drawbridge, building a floating raft, catapults, inserting a led candle and decorating the outside with a glue gun to make it look like wax, and creating family crests with Perler beads. For most of the activities, children were given the opportunity to think outside the box and make their creations by using cardboard boxes and everyday items. This allowed them to work together as a team, and brainstorm ideas to come up with their own inventions. I think it would be nicer if the campers were given a variety of materials like loose parts and screws depending on the age group, to let the children’s imagination run wild. Weather permitting, some activities are done outdoors.
My daughter said she enjoyed attending STEM camp, as she got to experience a different style of camp. Here are her thoughts about the camp, "STEM camp was a fun, yet educational camp where I learned many facts about Medieval times. We did medieval themed related hands-on activities with everyday craft items. I enjoyed doing the fun activities related to science, technology, engineering, and math. Although, STEM camp was enjoyable, I did not like the bigger groups for small quick activities because it did not give each member a chance to participate as there were only a limited amount of supplies and materials. In the future, I hope STEM camp would be set in a more organized environment so we can do all the planned activities, and it would be better if the staff sorted out the material we need before we begin camp".
After speaking with the counsellors in the beginning of the week to see if they can keep the group sizes smaller, they took our suggestions and made changes immediately, which allowed the children to be better engaged. We love how respectful the staff were to listen to the parents and campers to make the experiences at the camp meaningful. There are many STEM camp locations all across Ontario, depending on the theme of the week, the activities would be different.
Prior to doing the activities, the counsellors explained the reasons behind each of the activities related to the theme through videos and stories, and had discussions with the campers. For example, the types of transportation that would have been available during the Medieval period or the types of clothing people wore. The children are able to make connections to science concepts while having fun.
Children got opportunities to do math sheets that involved equations and other number applications to reveal medieval related images. Every year, STEM camp thrives to include technology and other opportunities in their different themes, so campers are challenged to learn different concepts. For example, they have various activities such as coding and programming through barcode scanning and clear instructions to control the Edison Robot or coding by using coloured markers to communicate what they want their robot to do, using Ozobots. STEM camp has also partnered with the Canada Learning Code, who is making visits as special guests to different STEM camps to talk about coding and lead some coding activities.
Overall, I am happy that my children were able to be part of STEM summer camp and interact with other likeminded campers and staff to feel enthusiastic about STEM subjects. The best part of this camp is that children are able to learn while having fun. We love how STEM camp encourages children to have an open mind to learn things that would benefit themselves and everyone around them.
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with STEM camp. Please note that all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own. All rights reserved on the written content Createwithmom © 2010 - 2018. Please Ask First