As an instructor at Wayne County Schools Career Center, Drew Fuller hates classrooms and paperwork.
He prefers labs and hands-on activities where students learn using their intuition.
To provide these unique learning experiences, Fuller is working with several organizations to offer a STEAM summer camp for children in the Tri-County area.
“Everything we do is fair, it’s so practical; it’s so interactive for them, ”Fuller said. “And the property is really on them, like we don’t spoon information out to them and expect them to memorize it and take a test or whatever.”
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Summer camps like this are becoming more popular and available to students than ever before. Apart from traditional summer schools and reading programs, students can participate in science, robotics and e-learning programs at their local schools and career centers.
New experiences with STEM and robotics
According to the Ohio Department of Education, STEM and STEAM education focuses on the application of science, technology, engineering, arts or humanities and mathematics “through experiments real project-based ”.
While the school district like Northwestern Local offers in-class STEM education, there has been an increase in summer programs focused on the field.
The STEAM summer camp at Wayne County Schools Career Center was first offered in 2019. The camp allows elementary and high school students to learn about VEX robotics (designed to foster creative advancement in robotics), 3D printing (three-dimensional) and CNC machining (computer-automated machining tools).
The camp is organized with the help of several organizations, including the Tri-County Educational Service Center and Schantz MakerSpace.
“We wanted a lot of students to be able to participate and see if they are interested in this,” said Beth Gaubatz, career relations consultant at Tri-County ESC. “… that’s why we are planning the camp for the primary and upper secondary schools, so that they really get that initial spark of interest.” ”
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Students build their own VEX robot, learn to program it, and participate in different challenges created by instructors, Fuller said.
A total of 24 students can register for each two-day session, which is offered the last week of July and the first week of August. The camp is available to all students in Ashland, Wayne and Holmes counties and has a registration fee of $ 50 per session.
Online summer courses are open
Apart from STEM and STEAM camps, there are other options for students.
Several school districts, including Northwestern Local, Rittman Exempted Village, Ashland City Schools and New London Local, allow students to take online classes as a replacement for the traditional summer school.
Students can register for courses through programs such as TRECA and Odysseyware and take online courses “to catch up on their credits, progress or make room in next year’s schedules,” according to the website. Northwestern High.
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TRECA is a part-time online program available to students in Grades 9-12 with a registration fee of $ 95 per half-credit course. Each session lasts eight weeks and final grades are sent to each student’s school after the course is completed, the website says.
Summer reading programs remain essential
In addition to the new summer programs, districts such as Wooster Town Schools offer traditional summer programs.
Wooster and Southeast Local have also encouraged students to participate in the summer reading program through the Wayne County Public Library, where they can earn free books, said Susan Roberts, assistant director of the library.
Students and adults of all ages can participate by recording their hours on paper or online through a program called beanstack.
“I think one of the big benefits is that kids can read what they like to read,” Roberts said. “And a lot of times at school they have certain things to read or they’re so busy it kind of gives them a chance to read for fun.”
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All readers who reach the 25 hour mark are entered into a draw for an additional prize, which varies by age group. For younger readers, the prize is a bookmobile party. Older readers could win a Kindle.
The program started on May 26 and readers can send in their papers until August 1. Book drives for completed newspapers will continue after the program ends, Roberts said.
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