June 17, 2021 Academics

Summer program promotes STEM learning for Sioux City students

Students make solar powered crickets during summer STEM program
Students make solar powered crickets during summer STEM program

Sioux City summer school students are getting hands-on learning with science, technology, engineering and math, or commonly known as STEM.The new program is called Camp Invention. It is funded by Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.

The school district said this is to help students close the learning-gap that widened during the pandemic due to absences or falling behind in remote learning.

“With this summer school opportunity, we wanted to help students to have a chance to improve their math and reading scores, but then also really increase that engagement. So, Camp Invention is a way that we believe we can engage students at a high level,” said Dr. Brian Burnright, director of elementary education for the school district.

This week, students learned how to make solar-powered crickets. There is a new activity each week, with four weeks total to match the summer school length.

Susan Tillo, a fifth-grade teacher, said this type of learning promotes a genuine interest in children.

“They don’t really realize that they’re learning, and they’re doing something, just like you hope your job is someday. When they’re doing this, that although they’re learning, and we do vocab with it, and we do writing it they really like it. It is hands-on, and they get something out of it, and they enjoy it. So it is work, but it is something they really like to do,” said Tillo.

Dr. Burnright added activities like Camp Invention keep kids coming back to summer school.

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