FHSD Summer STEM and STEAM Camps

Posted on 06/12/2017
Students at FHSD Summer STEM Camp working

The Francis Howell School District (FHSD) is committed to providing engaging and enriching camp opportunities to students over the summer months. Two of the most popular are the elementary STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and middle school STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) camps. Summer school and all camps are fully funded by the state of Missouri, which makes it possible for the District to offer these programs for students at no cost.

“STEAM/STEM is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking,” said Director of Assessment and Summer Programs David Brothers. “The results of our week-long STEM, STEAM, and App camps are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in learning, persevere in problem solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process.”

The Elementary STEAM summer program is a five-day camp that is offered over six different weeks during June and July, in which 840 students will be participating this year. The camp engages students with hands-on activities and focuses on creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. “We code, you can build and program LEGO robots, lots of fun stuff,” said fourth grader Maddoc Bray, a return customer. “I did it last year, and it was a good experience, it was very fun. It’s fun to build and do certain projects.”

Robotics are always popular with elementary students, perhaps more so than some other subjects. “I like building LEGO robots and working with computers; you can program them to move around and do different things,” fourth grader Caroline Woodland said “I like science a lot, and I like math…” she added, before admitting, “…but just a little bit.”

The Middle School STEM summer program is a five-day camp that is offered for two weeks in June, and 200 students have signed up for the opportunity. One of the more popular activities is not constructing, but rather destructing. “We’re exploring the insides of different pieces of technology like CD players, computers, printers, and radios,” said Barnwell seventh grader Allison Bass. “I enjoy having the freedom to explore and create. I want to be an astronaut or a teacher when I grow up, so I will definitely be in a STEM field.”

The consensus of most students in the program, like Hollenbeck eighth grader Chase Arehart, is that camp isn’t work, it’s fun.We’re making catapults and using 3D printing pens,” he said, “things that you really wouldn’t be able to do at home, only here at STEM camp. I definitely want to be an engineer when I’m older; I’m very hands-on. I don’t like to sit and watch someone do something, and I want to work with my hands.”

Coming in July is the middle school App Camp, where 150 students have registered to learn how to create and market a mobile app. These students will learn to construct a storyboard for their application idea, use programming languages to develop their app, and develop a marketing plan to make a pitch for their app as well. View the photo gallery to see more pictures taken at various FHSD camps this summer.

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