Students down with STEM all summer long

·2 min read

The Near North District School Board (NNDSB) has launched a new summer program that teaches coding and other skills to equip students for our technology-based world. Robots and drones are also featured in the curriculum, and the work is popular amongst the youth.

It’s all about STEM in this summer program—we’re talking Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—and grades seven to 10 students have signed up to “gain skills in modern technology,” the NNDSB explained in a recent release, “and improve their literacy and numeracy.”

Jamey Byers, the summer program principal, said students also develop coding skills “and engage in hands-on activities that involve a variety of robots including drones, LEGO robotics and programmable robots called Spheros,” all of which help students “grasp fundamental STEM concepts.”

Not only are there codes to write and robots to instruct, but students can also “turn their imagination into reality using 3D printers and design software.” Jason Henstridge, a STEM camp teacher, mentioned that students are using the printer to make can openers, jewelry, and custom video game interfaces, and “most of the materials that we are using in the printers are derived from plant-based crops such as corn and it is biodegradable.”

The program provides opportunity for students to engage with “a variety of technologies that they may not have spent time with before.” Plus, to spice up the STEM stew, there are robot battles as well. Students design custom armour for their Spheros robots and see which robot comes out of battle with its armour still intact. The entire process “resulted in great problem-solving strategies as students pitted their robots against one another in battles,” Henstridge said.

The summer program combines some fun with the curriculum, and “all of this comes back to the core of what we do,” Byers explained—“enhancing student achievement and well-being. These students will be able to use the STEM camp experience to enhance their learning moving into September.”

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca

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