PE’s Exceptional Summer of STEAM

This summer, while not what we had planned, was better than we could’ve expected! PE ran two camps – one through the Chicago Park District, where we live-streamed into 15 different parks and one directly into our enrolled PE students’ homes. We had the pleasure of partnering with a variety of organizations for our Summer of STEAM camps.

Partnering for Progress

PE honed in on the A in STEAM by partnering with two local organizations – Local Art and Noteworthy Youth – who taught students the importance of expression through art and the science of sound and music. We also worked with the 4H Club, offering financial literacy and chemistry to students. As always, we had three fantastic facilitators on board – Jazmine, Baunee, and Chimere – who provided content and activities that were both hands-on and minds-on. They made the most of the virtual sessions, pushing students to make observations, draw conclusions, and further develop their STEM identities.

Hands-On, Minds On

The Chicago Park District camps offered us the chance to expose campers to various organizations, each specializing in a different content area. The camp opened with an opportunity to learn about the engineering and design process through participation in design challenges developed by Woods Education Enrichment Foundation. The Young People’s Project, out of Boston, provided our campers with new ways to learn math content. The activities brought math to life, using games to help campers develop their number sense and reasoning skills. We were lucky to have the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum on board as well. They worked with our STEAMbassdors to provide content about the natural world. Campers made observations of their own space, formed hypotheses about the earth’s surface, and found opportunities to relate the natural world to their own. We were able to bring the outside in! The camp ended on an engineering note, which offered an exciting challenge for our campers. AeroStar brought engineering challenges focused on aerospace engineering and aviation, and Project Syncere created engineering challenges using common household materials. Not only does PE pride itself on being a “hands-on” STEM organization, but we are also proud to say that we are “minds-on,” too!

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