STEAM is the focus for students attending St. Clair Catholic's Summer Learning Camps for primary students this year.
"STEAM is an integrated approach to learning that teaches students to innovate and think critically in problem solving, through their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics," says Brenda Corchis, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator for St. Clair Catholic.
One of the problems undertaken by students this week was the 'Egg Drop Challenge' in which they had to build an apparatus to protect an egg being dropped from a height of nine meters.
"The students spent one day on design thinking, during which they drew up plans and reflected on what kind of structure they could create to protect the egg," says Mrs. Chorchis. "On the second day, they built and tested the apparatus. It was great fun!"
While mornings are spent on STEAM projects, afternoons at summer camp are dedicated to physical literacy. Several community partnerships have been developed, which gives students the opportunity to experience activities such as tennis, golf and Tae Kwon Do. In Chatham-Kent, a partnership with the municipality has made it possible to incorporate Drum Fit, Play Rangers and lacrosse into the afternoon curriculum.
The camps are located at St. Anne, Blenheim; Georges P. Vanier, Chatham; St. Elizabeth, Wallaceburg; and Holy Trinity, Sarnia. There are primary grade campers at all locations and in Sarnia and Chatham, a special Grade 7 and 8 'Design Your Future' camp was added this year.
Each day, these camps partner with community organizations to welcome guests or go on special educational excursions related to future pathways. Trips in Sarnia include the Sarnia & District Humane Society, Lambton College and Inn of the Good Shepherd. In Chatham-Kent, students will visit St. Clair College, the Chatham-Kent Public Library, a local fire hall and they will have an opportunity to meet with experts from various trades, including plumbing and electrical. The camp also has a focus on financial literacy.
Healthy and nutritious snacks are provided through the generosity of the Chatham-Kent Student Nutrition Program in Chatham-Kent and Noelle's Gift in Sarnia.
"We are grateful for the support of all of our partners to help make these camps possible," says Mrs. Corchis.
The Summer Learning Camp is funded through a grant from the Ministry of Education with support from the Ontario Council of Directors of Education.
In the photos (top) students at Holy Trinity, Sarnia show off the protection apparatus they designed for the 'Egg Drop Challenge'; (above right) students at St. Anne, Blenheim participate in a math activity; (above left) students at Georges P. Vanier, Chatham follow design instructions in creating a structure with sticks and connectors; and (bottom right) students at St. Elizabeth, Wallaceburg enjoy a healthy snack during a break in the day's activities.