Red Clay News
STEM Summer Scholars (S3) Hold Showcase
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It says a lot about a summer program when the most common suggestion from students on the final day is to make it last longer next year.
But that was the case on July 20, at the STEM Summer Scholars (S3) Program Showcase. In classrooms and hallways throughout John Dickinson High School, middle school students demonstrated projects they had completed during the three-week program.
Afterwards, after watching a video with highlights from the three weeks, students spoke about what they had learned during a presentation in the school’s auditorium. All sixth graders called forward to comment said next year the program should be expanded in length.
“It was exciting to watch and listen to students explain their projects from the Summer STEM Program,” said Superintendent Merv Daugherty. “There was engagement between the students and teachers, to complete their projects and think outside the box to solve problems. It was truly an enrichment experience for everyone involved in the camp and I am hopeful the students will take their experiences into the upcoming school year and the future.”
Superintendent Daugherty was among hundreds of parents, staff members and dignitaries who attended the showcase held at John Dickinson High School.
Guests were invited to a self-guided tour of the STEM classrooms, where they saw bottle rockets, roller coasters, and robotics. CO2 car races were held in the STEM wing, and homemade musical instrument “minstrels” entertained in E wing.
Students distributed their business cards and described their business plans to guests, who included US Senator Tom Carper and Lt. Gov. Matt Denn.
The purpose of the S3 STEM Summer Scholars Program is to provide participating students (sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students) the experience of applying the principles of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to solving real world problems in a carefully structured environment.
Participating students worked with technology teachers and/or math or science teachers to design, create, and test a variety of engineering projects.
The program expanded from 75 spots last year to 160 this year, said Red Clay Science Coordinator and administrator of S3 Edward McGrath.
During the summer of 2012, students spent a week in robotics, a week in various building activities, and a week in creating a communication product. Building projects included designing and powering a model house, musical instruments, designing and flying model airplanes, and more! By popular demand, students were able to select CO2 powered race cars and bridge building as they did last year.
The communications rotation involved students creating an electronic portfolio, designing business cards, and creating a marketing strategy for their other projects.
There were nine classes during this summer's STEM Summer Scholars program, including three robotics classes, three communications (business plan) classes, and three construction classes per grade.
In comments before the student presentations, Superintendent Daugherty said the program is here to stay. “We want to continue to expand this program,” he said. “The program made kids want to do things in science and math they never had done before. That’s what this program is about, to spark the flame.”
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