Grand Valley State University’s regional math and science center recently announced that they will be hosting several summer STEM camps for elementary and middle school students in the West Michigan area. The three camps they are offering this summer are: Camp Invention, Energizing Our World (EOW) and Summer Health Activities and Professions Exploration (sHaPe).
For 2021, the camps will be offered in a remote format for students attending the camps. This enables the GVSU to host camps for more students in West Michigan and creates a safe and flexible learning experience for them. You are planning a HUB idea where some of the students outside of GVSU will be together in person. You can collaborate in local libraries, schools, etc. Students can be personal and experience practical activities together in a socially distant environment. This is a new aspect of the camp that they are trying this year with their partners.
Kris Pachla, director of GVSU’s regional math and science center, said, “This summer we made the decision to switch back to a completely removed format. We ran them remotely last year and we’re running them remotely again this year. Part of that is planning the logistics. It is difficult for us to ensure in-person learning as we do not know when the campus will reopen to visitors. The other thing is that we had really good success remote controlling our camps last summer and there is a pretty good promise that we will give as many students as possible access to these summer learning opportunities. “
Camp Invention is a new camp offered by the university this year. It will be offered in June for grades K-6, which are completely remote. This camp is an invention centered and worked with the National Inventors Hall of Fame to design this student program. The university provided the space for the implementation of the program. Students go through four different modules, all of which focus on inventors in the Hall of Fame. They will then design solutions to problems and create new inventions based on what they learn.
The Energizing Our World Camp is being offered for the fourth year in a row by the Math and Science Center. This camp is offered to prospective students in 7th and 8th grade. This camp is designed to give students the opportunity to learn more about energy, energy sources, renewable energies, sustainability and more. This camp is a partnership with the Michigan Space Grant Consortium, a branch of NASA, and the Consumers Energy Grant. You will present these ideas and solutions to a panel at the end of the week and receive feedback from business partners, teachers and parents.
The last camp that is offered is the SHaPe camp. They have been offering this camp to students for a long time. The aim of this program is to introduce 7th and 8th grade students to different careers in health professions. It also provides information for students on how to lead healthy lifestyles. Faculty members offer them many different health professions and learn what it means to get started in this career. This camp is a partnership with Meijer and Mercy Health, who both fund part of the work.
“We are very fortunate to have some great donors and some great grants to support this work. We can send students study kits for each of our camps that they can explore and keep after camps. Not only can they use this when they learn and get involved in the camps, but they can continue to use it when the camps are over, ”Pachla said.
All three camps are offered free of charge to students attending because of the generous donations from the regional math and science center.