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In the wake of coronavirus quarantines and stay-at-home orders, many schools and colleges have canceled summer academies. Career-exploration camps help young people to harness the power of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and gain valuable skills as they learn about some of the most in-demand careers.

For example, the Central Virginia Community Community College (CVCC) Summer Academy for middle and high school students included mechatronics and the art of engineering. Scheduled to take place in June, registrants for the workforce development programs are now being contacted by phone concerning refunds, according to a CVCC announcement.

The New Jersy Institute of Technology’s Center for Pre-College Programs also canceled STEM and computer science course sessions held every Saturday through May.  The ACT/SAT Preparation Program was postponed and a Pi Day event for parents and students was also canceled.

Like many school districts, the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District in California has announced the cancellation of its STEM CAMP, which was scheduled for June. Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District has more than 21,500 students in grades K-12.

While Los Angeles Unified schools are closed, the largest school district in California has announced a partnership with PBS SoCal | KCET, and KLCS-TV to provide free supplemental educational resources to help families support learning during the school closures,  especially in areas with limited internet access.

According to LAU, the multi-platform initiative includes Pre-K–12 educational programming and online resources through the online platform PBS LearningMedia. The resources are free and designed to be used by public schools to help students continue learning at home.  School districts around the country have announced similar partnerships with local public television stations.

Earlier this year, USBE editors put together resources shared by participants in the BEYA Pre-College Program. The products listed below will entertain and educate your future STEM professionals. They trigger imagination, introduce basic STEM concepts, and guarantee hours of fun with your family.

Tinker Crate is a monthly subscription service that encourages kids ages 9–16-plus to discover and learn about science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) through hands-on activities. Each month, Tinker Crate will send a kit with a new STEM project to build. The kits are made to be fun and to increase problem-solving skills and confidence. The kit will include all the materials needed to build the project, illustrated instructions, and a link to a step-by-step video. Find out more about subscriptions here.

The Piper Computer Kit provides the user with everything needed to build their very own fully functioning computer. This DIY kit aims to teach the user exactly what goes on behind the screen of a computer. The Piper Computer Kit provides an engineering blueprint enabling students to engage in a sensory experience that bridges visual and tactile learning. PiperCode uses Blockly by Google, a drag-and-drop coding language that enables students to modify and change how their electronics work on the Raspberry Pi. Learners can also explore the virtual world of the Raspberry Pi Edition of Minecraft and learn electronic concepts through engaging interactive game levels. Click here to visit the Play Piper website.

Hydropower is a renewable energy science kit aimed to teach the user how different devices are used to extract useful energy from moving water, from a waterwheel in a small stream to a giant turbine in a tidal power station. The science kit will give the user the option to build 12 different models including a watermill, a sawmill, or a hammer mill, to name just a few. The user will be able to explore the power of water and conduct experiments such as constructing a hydroelectric power station that can generate electricity and light an LED. The science kit comes with a 32-page direction manual with step-by-step instructions.

Explore some of the other products by Thames and Kosmos on their website.  

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View Comments (1)

Brian ClairSeptember 28, 2020
3:40 am

The Science Museum I’ve heard about stem lecture from one of my acquaintances. This lecture is literally a lifetime opportunity for Science & Maths Students as it offers them to experience real science.

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