Brain STEM: An Interstate Summer Virtual Camp for Migrant Middle School Students began Monday, August 3 with more than 50 students from Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska and Pennsylvania. Languages spoken among the student population were Nepali, Swahili, Somali, Khmer, Gwich’in (Alaska Native), Qʼanjobʼal (Mayan/Guatemala), and Spanish.
What is Brain STEM?
BRAIN STEM: Brilliance, Resilience and Achievement IN STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is a 5-day virtual camp designed to provide middle school students with experiences to develop an ability to persevere through challenges and realize academic opportunities in STEM while fostering team-oriented collaboration to work on academically enriching, motivating and engaging tasks.
Students engaged in rich inquiry tasks, problem-based learning, STEM projects, keynotes and team building exercises. The interactive activities are designed to engage all senses to reiterate the material learned each day. Each activity is purposely designed to address different styles of learning (aural, visual, reading/writing, kinesthetic) to reinforce the scientific ideas, problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, education, resources, vocabulary, themes and messages discussed through the day in order to develop leadership skills, increase their confidence, realize the academic opportunities in STEM and are motivated to make a difference in their families, schools and communities.
Day 4 included the Geyser Mentos Challenge. The goal of this experiment was to explore the eruption of carbon dioxide when the candy Mentos dissolves in Diet Coke. Students needed to measure the height of each soda blast and take note of the different variables that may impact its reactions (Physics/Chemistry). Students wrote their answers to the following questions in their camp journals:
- What STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills do you need to accomplish your goals?
- What barriers could present you from achieving your goal?
- What does your Future look like after accomplishing your goal?
The Interstate Summer Virtual Camp for Migrant Middle School Students concludes August 7 with the Moonshot Project and the Robotics Coding Challenge.
Center for Schools and Communities, a division of Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, is working in partnership with Pennsylvania Department of Education to implement this interstate initiative.