The Benefits of Kids Attending a STEAM-Focused Summer Camp

The Benefits of Kids Attending a STEAM-Focused Summer Camp

Attending a STEAM-focused summer camp reinforces 21st-century skills kids need to be successful in the future.

If your school-age child is excited to learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and math topics, you may want to consider enrolling him in a STEAM-focused summer camp to boost his 21st-century skill learning year-round. After all, our kids’ future education and jobs are going to be very different from anything we experienced as kids and young adults, says Bob Budah, owner of Park Shore Country Day Camp in Dix Hills, which offers Extreme STEAM Science Kids, a STEAM-based summer program for campers that’s led by a science teacher with a master’s degree in educational technology.

Consider, for a moment, how far technology has come since you were a child. “When I was born, we had nothing, really. We had TV. I’ve seen everything develop to the point now where you walk in your house, you talk, and things start to happen,” Budah says. Now consider how much technology will change as your children come of age.

This rapid shift in technology is why Budah started offering Extreme STEAM Science Kids at Park Shore Country Day Camp 10 years ago. “It’s a fun, engaging, hands-on, and stimulating program where children learn a skill, they nurture the skill, and then they’re challenged with that skill to solve a problem,” he says.
   

Benefits of a STEAM-Focused Summer Camp

Though children may be learning some of the skills they’ll need for the future through STEAM education in school or after-school programs, a STEAM-focused camp is an alternative learning experience that keeps kids engaged during the summer months, when formal education is typically paused. In addition to ongoing learning, enrolling your child in a STEAM-based summer program fosters the development of 21st-century skills, which are the “skills that you would need if you were hired by Facebook, Google, [or] Amazon,” Budah says. “I believe that’s what companies are looking for in workers of the future. So, they’re [learning those skills] at an early age, and they will have the ability to adapt in a future that rapidly changes.”

These 21st-century skills include:

  • Critical Thinking: The ability to analyze and evaluate information and points of view to solve problems in conventional and out-of-the-box ways, according to the National Education Association
  • Teamwork: The ability to work effectively and respectfully with a diverse group, making necessary compromises to accomplish a goal, according to NEA
  • Creativity and Adaptability: The ability to develop, implement, and communicate new ideas, incorporating group input and constructive feedback, according to NEA
       

“Engaging children at a young age in the world of science will enhance their ability to develop the needed skills to succeed in their future endeavors,” Budah says. “It will expose them to concepts they will encounter in the future, which will help them be more comfortable with new experiences.”

While Extreme STEAM Science Kids offers programs for campers in first through fifth grades, Budah says that kids who continue their interest in STEAM when they are a little older will gain the same benefits from a STEAM-focused camp as younger children, if not more. Children in middle school and high school are “more mature, they’re picking up more skills, and their social skills are a little more advanced, so they understand why they have to work in a team,” he says. Plus, at that age, they’re sponges ready to absorb new information, Budah adds.
   

Signs Your Child May Be Interested in Attending a STEAM Camp

Wondering whether to sign your child up for a STEAM-focused summer camp or a traditional day camp? If your child exhibits some of the below characteristics, she may benefit from a summer of STEAM learning:

  • He likes to tinker, take things apart, and put them back together
  • She loves reading and learning
  • He is curious and asks questions about how things work
  • She shows an interest in creating
  • He says his favorite subjects in school are science, math, or STEAM-related topics