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Benefits of Summer STEM Learning

Posted by EiE Team on Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Summer is right around the corner! While summer is an important time for rest and rejuvenation, it’s also an incredible opportunity for students to explore new interests and expand their knowledge base. For STEM learning, this can be an opportunity for struggling learners to build confidence and confident learners to discover new passions.

A report by the National Research Council found that STEM learning in out-of-school programs has been shown to:

  • Contribute to young people’s interest in and understanding of STEM
  • Connect young people to caring adults who serve as role models
  • Reduce the achievement gap between young people from low-income and high-income families

Without the day-to-day classroom pressures, summer STEM learning in OST programs and review lessons have benefits for both learners and educators, such as: 

Nurturing problem-solving skills — Especially for students who need a refresher over the summer term, STEM learning offers opportunities to develop resilience when faced with challenging topics and work on problem-solving skills while navigating the engineering design process or scientific method.

Opportunities to innovate — While discovering new technologies and working on problem-solving, educators have a chance to tweak lessons they’ll use during the school year and learners have an opportunity to experiment with new ways of learning or working through subjects. What worked in the routine school year may be enhanced by adapting to summer learning needs!

Time to apply knowledge — Whether reinforcing lesson essentials from the school year or trying out new skills in OST activities, summer STEM learning is a time to get hands-on and apply knowledge to real-world examples. 

Exposure to new technology — For students and educators alike, smaller group sizes in summer classes and camps offer a great opportunity to try new technology. From tablets to robots, everyone in the classroom benefits from a summertime test run of new gadgets coming the next school year.

“Summer offers a unique opportunity for students to engage in STEM learning in ways that mirror real-world needs, while also drawing on the practices that make these STEM learning resources & activities most successful,” according to the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA).  

Whether you’re looking for an OST activity or STEM curricula for an accelerated summer term this season, EiE’s standards-aligned units, games, EiE supported Kahoots!, and other resources are sure to have what you need. Learn more by clicking here!

Written by EiE Team

Topics: Out-of-School time, EiE Resources for Teachers, Early Childhood STEM Education, EiE Teaching Tips, Engineering for All, Afterschool/Summer Camp, Create a Generation of Problem Solvers, STEM Implementation, Summer Learning

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