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2021 Summer of STEM

In 2021, we began our Summer of STEM: a two-month virtual summer program for students who wanted to immerse themselves in the world of STEM during the months of July and August. This year's summer program featured over nine different classes across a variety of unique topics, such as a Build-Your-Own-Podcast workshop and an at-home lab where students could extract their own DNA!

Week 1 was all about podcasts. Our students were encouraged to choose any topic they were passionate about to produce a short and informational podcast on. They learned how to record, edit, and officially release these podcasts on SoundCloud!

Week 2 was all about science labs! Both the DNA Extraction Lab and Naked Egg Lab used common household ingredients, meaning that students could perform these experiments with the materials they already had around them. In the DNA Extraction Lab, students first took samples of their cheek cells that they then extracted the DNA from. They then learned about the science behind this reaction and the importance of DNA in our bodies! In the Naked Egg lab, students performed a lab where they used the science behind acids and bases to remove the hard shell of a raw egg.

Week 3 was about Rube Goldbergs! Students were encouraged to think creatively as they used household props and materials to construct their own chain-reaction contraptions.

Weeks 4 and 5 explored specific areas of science: environmental science and astronomy! In our Become an Environmental Scientist class, students learned about the science behind the natural world around them and then applied their knowledge to current environmental dilemmas. In our Astronomy class, students ventured past the globe and into the vast universe. Not only did they learn about distant planets and strange phenomena like black holes, but students also put their engineering skills to use by designing their own spacecraft.

Week 6 was all about using seemingly ordinary objects (such as cardboard and paper) to construct amazing contraptions. In the Robot Building class, students exercised their creativity to build their own robot capable of anything they could imagine. In the Robotic Hand class, students engineered their own working "hand" that could pick up objects! Finally, in the Make Your Own Paper Rockets class, students designed their own rockets that they could launch into the air.

In Week 7, our students explored the fundamentals of computer science. This Coding class was open to all skill levels! Both beginner and advanced students received personalized instructions to code their own fun games.


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