Blog Trends in STEM

The Lasting Benefit of Summer Camps

Trends in STEM

Children are born with natural curiosity and a desire to explore the world around them. While traditional schooling does its best to grow this curiosity, often due to time constraints and problematic standardized testing practices, educators may be forced to apply a “one size fits all” approach to their lesson planning. Unfortunately, this practice has the potential to overlook students’ individual interests and can lead to a lack of engagement within the classroom.

Sharing the wonder of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in an interactive summer camp environment encourages students to explore at their own pace and inspires unbounded creativity.

Read below to learn three reasons why summer camp is the ideal environment for STEM learning!

Exploration on Their Own Terms

When a student takes ownership of the subject they’re exploring, they have a greater chance of developing a genuine interest and passion in what they’re learning. One of the best ways to encourage this type of education is to embrace student-centered learning — a style of teaching personalized to an individual’s interests, ideas, aspirations and goals. The effectiveness of student-centered learning comes from giving students the agency and freedom to learn on their own terms. Instead of presenting one correct answer or outcome, educators at the most effective STEM summer camps understand that for the most complex and interesting problems, there is no one solution. Because of this, students begin to adopt creative mindsets and are encouraged to try things they’ve never done before.

Lasting Benefits During the School Year

One of the greatest benefits of attending a STEM summer camp is that students are able to apply their learning and excitement for these subjects during the school year. Because a student’s achievement scores decline over the course of summer vacation, especially in the subject of mathematics, programs that present STEM subjects in an engaging way can be very effective in mitigating the effects of summer slide. These opportunities also provide an added benefit for educators who might find themselves regularly confronted with the question: “why does this matter?” Because the most effective STEM summer camps show students the real-world relevancy of what they’re learning, students in these settings will gain a better appreciation for their studies.

Inspiring Role Models

When teaching STEM subjects, one of the most important experiences educators can provide their students is an introduction to career role models children can relate to. Research from Opportunity Insights supports this strategy and found that exposure to innovation substantially increases the likelihood that children become inventors in the future. The effectiveness of this exposure is grounded in our innate ability to mimic as a way to learn from others. Having a goal is not enough. Instead, children need examples of people who have accomplished their goal in order to make the outcome tangible in their minds. For example, a girl who wants to become an astronaut is more likely to achieve her dream if she has a female astronaut to look up to. 

We Believe in the Power of Summer STEM

At the National Inventors Hall of Fame® we are committed to providing the best STEM summer camp experience through our Camp Invention® program. Here, students are introduced to our world-changing Inductees who act as inspiring role models and help children recognize their own capacity for greatness. To learn more about our range of education programs and our mission to promote our world’s most important innovators, we invite you to visit our website.

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