Swartz Creek Community School STEM Summer Camp Helps Students Prepare for Next School Year

FLINT, Michigan (WJRT) – The pandemic has changed the way students in Mid-Michigan learn.

Online and blended learning have replaced in-person school attendance.

This has led to more children enrolled in summer school.

But, it’s not quite as parents can remember.

Don’t call it summer school – it is now a summer camp.

Swartz Creek Community Schools help students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 catch up on learning they lost due to being absent from class.

But, there is a twist, according to STEM coordinator Michele Bielby.

“They have the opportunity to learn by actually doing physical activities.

One of these activities for the first week of camp?

Make ice cream and also learn what it takes to turn liquid ingredients into a delicious frozen treat.

Demand for this STEM-style program – which includes lots of fun activities – almost tripled this year.

Federal education funding for the State of Michigan has enabled the expansion of this hands-on learning environment.

“We are able to spend up to $ 350,000 this year. This allowed us to increase the staff and of course increase the number of students involved – which is the important factor, ”said Nate Gatlin, Swartz Creek Summer School Coordinator.

In previous years, this amount was more like $ 50,000.

The extra money helps – as the number of students has almost tripled this year to around 450 children.

Some students in attendance were a little skeptical of summer camp at first – but are now looking forward to more fun projects.

“Mom, when she signed me up, I was mad at her. Because I didn’t want to be registered. But, now that I am, I think it’s kind of fun, ”said Griffin Kimbrue.

Khloe Beatty added, “I think it’s really fun here – now that I’m here. I was really nervous because I thought all of these classes were together. But, as soon as I got here, it was so funny.

In the coming weeks, children will learn about flight, robotics and animal habitats.

With additional funding in place, Community Schools in Swartz Creek plan to extend summer camp until August 19, which will give students more time to learn and have fun.

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Norma A. Roth