If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing firsthand what goes on at ECM’s Summer STEAM Institute, we can only do our best in attempting to describe just what to expect, and how to find your way there if you’d like to find out more about the award-winning programs that we look forward to so much every year. It’s truly an amazing time here at ECM and around the Charleston area in general, and there’s nothing that gives us good reason for the season more than kids from all over the region coming together to have fun learning!
To get started on your way to Summer STEAM, hosted at outstanding Memminger Elementary this year, you’ll know you’re moving in the right direction when you can see nuts and bolts flying into the air like popcorn. Don’t worry if that sounds strange, though, it’s just the high-flying magnetism demonstration kicking off Week Two! When you feel a cool breeze, you’ll know that’s the ticket, because it’s probably coming from our very own mechanical toilet paper launcher, only one of many outlandish creations helping to make the fundamentals of physics a lot more memorable than the textbook version. As the air gets colder, you’ll know you’re finally getting close – it’s the chill of liquid nitrogen, rolling across the floor with no friction and causing a big stir in the auditorium! Arriving at last, you only need to follow the glowing green flames of burning magnesium salts, whirling in a vortex like a beacon to the wonders of science. Congratulations, you’re at ECM’s Summer STEAM Institute 2017!
Suffice to say, it’s been an outstanding year at the Institute so far, as we mark the halfway point of camp programming feeling as though the time is flying by even faster than we expected. Though every year of Summer STEAM stands as an incomparable bonding experience between ECM and everyone we work with, this year absolutely stands out as the most successful Summer STEAM Institute yet. We’ve come to know so many unforgettable young personalities, seen a wide variety of the finest teaching artists in the area working their STEAM magic on a daily basis, and been graced with the most hardworking, dedicated staff we could have possibly hoped for. Of course, things are only halfway through, so you can bet that there’s a lot of fantastic news and first-hand looks coming your way from the ECM blog and our regular social media posts soon.
Summer STEAM offers its attendees a multifaceted program of arts-based activities that have been specifically designed to aid in the teaching of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines, offering fun and active approaches to subjects that are often thought of as dry or difficult. This year, students from an extremely diverse range of backgrounds have been enjoying writing songs about superheroes and the laws of physics, using some delicious teaching aids to learn about how computer codes are like recipes, and both writing and performing their own plays about scientific concepts and history. We can say from personal experience that touring Summer STEAM is bound to fill you with the urge to join in the fun at every stop along the way, and that the atmosphere of energized creativity and curiosity that defines the camp experience is sure to prove itself to be the ideal alternative to the lazy dog days of the Southern summer.
Be sure to check back here and on our Facebook page for lots of updates about what’s going on from day to day at Summer STEAM 2017, including photos and videos of each week’s culminating performances. We know you’ll be able to see just how much we love to make summer the best it can be for our local kids!