Editor's Note (The View From Here)

Summer Learning Opportunities

One of our readers contacted me recently to ask about STEM (Science, Technology, Education, and Math) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Art, and Math) programs that are held during the summer months. I told her I was aware of quite a few and would get back with her after I did a little research. As it turns out, there are a lot more programs than I realized. I had based my original perception on the significant number of press releases and emails I receive during the year, but that is just a very small sampling.

A large number of universities, colleges, museums, zoos, YMCAs, and even airports and private companies are offering these summer experiences. And many of them are free of charge, available through scholarships, or offered at very low cost. There are also a few designed to educate teachers and help them develop STEM-related curriculum.

All of the programs I found looked interesting. One unique program is the “She Can” Summer Camp, which has been developed by the Department of Education in partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The camp is designed for female students with an interest in aviation and seeks to empower young women to succeed in STEM disciplines. During the two-week camp, the students will participate in a number of aviation activities, including hands-on flight instruction on FAA certified simulators, a 30-minute discovery flight with a local flight school, a high-altitude weather balloon launch and indoor skydiving. The camp is open to sixth through eighth grade girls who are considered underserved students in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

This is just one example among many designed, in some cases, to prevent the dreaded “summer slide”, or learning loss by kids, and in other cases to provide the opportunities for other students to enhance their skills through inventing, innovating, and entrepreneurial activities. I wish I had the chance to participate in on ones of these when I was a kid.

A Reminder

Our next issue is dated July/August, so you won’t receive another issue of School Planning & Management until about the middle of August.

Enjoy your summer.

This article originally appeared in the School Planning & Management June 2018 issue of Spaces4Learning.