St. Patrick’s School opened their doors to a new “STEM” summer program from June 12-16. The program emphasizes continued summer education, teaching morning and afternoon sessions in the subjects of science, technology, Espanol, and math.
“The cool thing is we already have some kids from out of town; we have a kid from Manning coming into town, we have two kids from Des Moines, and one kid from Dallas Center,” St. Patrick’s Principal, Eddie Diaz said. “That leads me to believe that this is a big need.”
The summer camp invited students from first to eighth grade to the St. Pat’s classrooms and featured a variety of activities to the students.
Diaz explains the overall goal for each section of the STEM camp.
“One of our teacher is going to do a project-based approach on science,” Diaz explained. “Technology: I’m going to teach coding for young kids because I took a class on teaching coding, and Espanol - we’re not doing the engineering part - one of our teacher’s is going to be teaching basic Spanish to young kids, and then math is going to be Math Olympics, which is basically going to be a week-long program of having fun with math.”
Diaz believes coding will bring a unique twist to the typical lessons taught.
“A lot of kids have that inquisitive nature where when you just get them started, they’ll figure it out on their own, so this is one way for me to give those opportunities early,” Diaz said.
On the first day, fifth grade teacher, Ms. Megan Peppard, taught kids about surface tension through a science experiment using a paperclip and a glass of water. Students were asked to take the inside piece of a paperclip and fold it up, later allowing it to float in water. The experiment created the idea of the paperclip acting as a bug in a pond.
One student named his bug ‘red lava ninja,’ with a special power of shooting lava from his hands.
The STEM program further helps the development of educational skills during the summer time. Diaz decided to create the camp because he wanted to do them and felt they were necessary.
The week of the 19th, we have another STEM camp,” Diaz said.
Eleven students will be traveling over to Iowa State University to learn from professors and graduate students on a range of topics.
“Some of our kids are doing chemistry in your food, so they’re going to learn to cook, but they’re also going to learn about the reactions,” Diaz said. “The other one that we’re taking our kids to is called “Math is Fun,” which is again trying to get kids to understand that math doesn’t have to be this crazy intimidating thing.”
The camp at St. Patrick’s will last throughout the 16, with a previous admission of $100.00 for the week-long session. Any student from St. Patrick’s School was welcome to attend and the camp was also open to any other students.