S.T.R.E.A.M. helps students prepare for upcoming school year
Published 10:27 am Friday, July 15, 2016
Students who attended J.P. King’s S.T.R.E.A.M. Summer Academy gained skills that will help them in the upcoming school year and took enrichment classes that piqued their interest. At the ending ceremony on Thursday, they shared their favorite part of the academy and showed off everything they had learned.
S.T.R.E.A.M. — which stands for Science/Science of Movement, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Math — not only teaches about textbook classes, it also gives students a chance to enhance their skills and learn about things they wouldn’t in the normal school year.
“This academy really helps the students transition to the next grade level and eases upcoming 6th-graders into middle school,” teacher Lawren Lee said.
Students were broken up into classes based on their grade-level, rising sixth, seventh and eighth-graders. In the morning they would have English and reading classes, and in the afternoon they would take enrichment classes, such as art, robotics, science and science of movement, based on what interests them.
At the beginning of the camp, students were given a pre-test that examined their academic skills in English and reading. Over the next several weeks, the teachers helped the students improve on those skills. At the end of the camp they took a post-test to see the difference in their scores. In just three weeks time, the classes were able to improve anywhere from 15 to 30 percent on their scores.
Although the students enjoyed the lessons that were taught in their core classes, they really enjoyed the enrichment classes in the afternoon.
In the art class, students made sculptures and pillows. Several of the sculptures represented items that they liked, such as animals and rockets.
In the robotics class students were given a box that included a 49-page instruction manual and over 600 pieces to build the robot. These children created the robots from start to finish and were able to program them to do things such as go forward and backwards, move in circles and even throw balls to knock over water bottles.
In the science class students conducted experiements. Some of the favorite ones they did were making Silly Putty and homemade ice-cream.
Lastly, in the science of movement class, students participated in activities such as volleyball and cheerleading and were able to see how science is involved in almost all aspects of life.
Students also went on field trips with the academy. They visited Nauticus, the Science Museum of Virginia and the Virginia Air & Space Center.
“At Nauticus, the students toured the museum and view two movies. The sixth and seventh-graders watched a movie on life in the ocean and the eighth-graders watched a movie on robotics,” teacher Janis Fulgham-Faulk said. “We also got to tour the U.S.S. Wisconsin, which was really cool.”
When they went to the Science Museum of Virginia they viewed a movie on robots in space and participated in interactive activities such as the space lab. At the Virginia Air & Space Center they explored the exhibit and watched a movie.
“These field trips are a lot of fun and are a good way for the students to have experience going on them before the school year starts,” Fulgham-Faulk said.
Several of the students commented on how they looked forward to the field trips each week and had a lot of fun on them.
This summer’s S.T.R.E.A.M Academy was a success for all. The students learned a lot, the teachers enjoyed themselves and everyone said they can’t wait to do it again next year.