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What to Expect from a STEM Camp in NYC
Does science come to mind when you stop to think about summer camp? It should! Camps are more than just a glorified babysitter or a place to make s’mores. You might be surprised that there are camps right here in the New York City area that offer science as part of their summer fun. It isn’t just science, a STEM camp in NYC also incorporates technology, engineering, and math skills.
Like all other summer camps, a science camp in NYC is an American right of passage! There will be hours of fun with friends, away from parents. Don’t think of this like school; there are no textbooks, no tests, and no homework. A summer science camp allows kids and tweens the opportunity to really explore science in all its fun, goopy, messy-making glory! When kids can learn science without the burden of needing to know the 'right' answer for an upcoming quiz, they can actually enjoy learning it.
These programs use fun and play to help teach and introduce science and engineering concepts. There’s also snacks, down time, and games. For example, a schedule for kindergarten and first grade students may include a STEM project, then a snack break, then another STEM project, then a break for lunch, and lastly science discovery time. It’s also quite common to include math activities, crafts, board and card games, and other ways to learn in a fun environment.
This type of science camp falls under the umbrella of what is often called “informal science learning.” They are learning and they don’t even realize it! Recent studies show that this type of informal science learning is one of the most effective ways for kids of all ages to really, truly learn science. For younger children, a science camp will introduce them to different areas of science not previously known as well as give them the confidence to embrace science when they get back to school. Older tweens in middle school who are already interested in science can use science camp as a way to get ahead of classmates, explore what a specific science-related career would be like, or to meet new friends who have similar interests. Students who participate in these types of activities are more likely to have an above-average understanding of all STEM fields, as well as pursue science-related careers. That’s right- your kid or tween may just love science camp so much it becomes a life-long passion and great career!
This summer, don’t just send your child or tween to camp that puts them in front of a movie every day or fills the time with random games. Just because they were not in school doesn’t mean they cannot be learning. In fact, it should not mean this! It would be a shame to waste this time off school instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to increase their STEM skills.
Take the time today to find a great summer camp. You’ll know you’ve found the one when your little one comes home excited to return the next day!
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