Summer of Science 2018

This summer, Project Exploration (PE) has ventured into new territory.  It’s been busy, exhilarating, fun, and full of learning! PE is hosting a summer camp at the West Side STEM Learning Center (SLC), in partnership with BUILD Chicago, to over 60 students, grades K-8.

What is summer of science doing?

Students have gotten to experience science programming through various program opportunities like Ten80’s Student Racing Challenge, Scientists for Tomorrow, and NASA Powered and Pumped Up.  During the eight week camp, students have had the opportunity to dissect frogs and sharks, program robots, build wind chimes and ArtBots, build a water pump designed for use on Mars, and learn all about the mechanics that go into building a race car.  They have visited Shedd’s mobile aquarium, both Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoo’s, took a walking tour downtown Chicago with Chicago Architecture Foundation and visited Manufacturing Renaissance’s program at Austin College and Career Academy, which trains teens, and adults in the Austin neighborhood.

Student Reflection

One of the student’s, Chloe H., a voracious reader in the oldest age group, has been with BUILD for a year and a half.  When asked what she anticipated camp to be like, Chloe said, “Well, I thought it would be different things, like painting and life skills.  But I’ve learned lots of other things like how to build things out of popsicle sticks.” When asked about her favorite activity, she said, “Dissecting sharks! I feel like now I’m prepared for high school because you do those kinds of things in high school, and now I’ll know what to do.  It smelled horrible!”

Camp Counselor gets involved

The beauty of running a summer camp with a partner organization is that the counselor’s get to learn alongside the students. Dontrell K. is with the Varsity group and when asked about what he thought camp would be like coming into it, he said, “I thought it would be long lectures and boring.  But the kids are learning so many different things, and I’m learning with them. My favorite trip was to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.  I didn’t know about butterflies or birds – did you know that some butterflies live up to three weeks?”

Overall, the summer of science is shaping up to be one of the best in the books!


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