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STEAM Camp in Poland

March 14, 2016

STEAM Camp

IMG_1751What happens when you bring together the ARTS and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)? Well, if you ask Jonathan Graffius, Poland Community School PK-6 art teacher, Scott Segal, Director of Poland Rec Department, and Jason Farson, Maine College of Art MAT student, the answer is educational, fun, and engaging for all involved.

IMG_1739During winter break Jon and Jason designed an opportunity for students called STEAM Camp. According to Jon, “The desired outcome for STEAM camp was that students would develop and apply both critical and creative thinking processes. The objectives were to use instructional practices that were trans-disciplinary, project-based, and highly engaging to young, developing minds.”

I had the chance to visit for a half day and it was all of those things wrapped up in one. The fun learning opportunity was offered to students in grades 2-6 and yes, those age levels are very different, but all students were engaged, taking in what they were able to do and to stretch them in multiple ways.

IMG_1729Jon: “I have offered a lot of visual art camps in the past, however this time around, I wanted to integrate art with other content areas. I have many interests beyond visual art and the STEAM concept allowed me, and the students, to experience the world in a broader way. Conducting this camp through Poland Parks and Recreation expanded outreach into the community; we ended up having students from four different towns spanning five grade levels. Both parents and students thoroughly enjoyed the camp and are eagerly awaiting the next camp.”

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The morning sessions will test students’ skills through exciting team challenges where students will investigate force, momentum, gravity and inertia.  Students will research, plan, build and test their designs through a series of experiments that will expand their understanding of the natural world. These experiments will involve catapults, pendulums, marble runs, chain reactions, paper airplanes, bridges, clay creations, and large paintings. The afternoon sessions will focus on the history, science and art of fingerprints. These individual activates will both challenge the students’ mind and expand their creativity.

IMG_1722It was so fun to see their large finger prints, talk with them about their catapults and bridges, and see the problem-solving and creativity in action!

There were two sessions, 8:00 – 12:00 AM and 12:30 – 4:30 PM. Students could attend morning, afternoon or both. And guess what? All but one of the 12 participants attended both.

If you have questions or wish to learn more please contact Jon at jgraffius@rsu16.org.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 8.44.26 PM

Cup Challenge

CatapultWar

Lantern Painting

Pendulum Painting

Thanks to Jon for providing some of the photographs and the information for this post! And for creating such a fabulous opportunity for students. Congrats on a job well done!

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