This summer, there were 88 students enrolled in Summer STEM with 11 staff. In the past two years, student attendance was around 50 to 60 students.
Students did a wide array of activities this summer, including drafting bridge designs and building them out of popsicle sticks, going on geometry walks, creating Kente cloths that represent themselves, learning about gentrification and examining their own neighborhoods, and writing STEM short stories, to name a few.
Being in-person also allowed them to go on fieldwork, either close by Capital City, like when they went to 7-Eleven for free slurpee day and had to calculate what time they had to leave their house to get to the store to make it on time to school, or to destinations further away like when they went to the Baltimore Aquarium.
Rising 8th grader Angel participated for the first time this year and said he was reluctant to join after his mom signed him up. In the end, he said he appreciated the program. "If it weren't for Summer STEM, I would probably be stuck at home and not doing much," said Angel.
Elizabeth, a rising 8th-grader who has participated all three years and hopes to become a surgeon, said she would recommend Summer STEM to all of her peers. "It’s extremely fun! And you get to connect with people in your grade who you might not have spent time with otherwise," Elizabeth said. "It’s definitely helped prepare me for 8th grade. It’s helping me keep my brain active during the summer."
At the end of the program on July 29, students got to share with their families, peers, and teachers what they had been working on during a Celebration of Learning. Ms. Hardy said she hopes for future years of Summer STEM they can continue to build the program and provide opportunities for families to see the great work their budding scientists are doing.