As the school year winds down and the summer months begin, consider a camp with a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) theme for your kids. In addition to the benefits that regular summer camps hold for families (i.e., keeping kids occupied, providing the opportunity to be active and make new friends, etc.), STEM summer camps can have additional positive attributes. We’ve compiled a list of the ways that these summer camps can help broaden your child’s horizons.
1. Cuts down on summer “brain drain”
The average student loses about 2.6 months of math skills and 1 month of overall learning over the summer, according to Oxford Learning. However, students only need to work for 2 to 3 hours per week during summer vacation to prevent learning loss. One great way to ensure that your students don’t lose the hard work they’ve completed during the year is to send them to STEM camp. There, they can learn about STEM topics in a fun atmosphere and challenge themselves academically while they are away from school.
2. Gets kids involved in a low-stress STEM environment
With limited time during the school year, it can be difficult to explore all of the different directions that STEM learning can take. STEM summer camps can provide a broader range of subjects—from robotics to zoology—all in a lower stress atmosphere than at school. When your kids don’t receive a grade for their performance, it can be easier for them to relax, explore creatively, and gain more confidence about STEM subjects.
3. Combines the Benefits of a traditional summer camp with STEM topics
Many STEM summer camps combine features of typical summer camps—e.g., exploration outside, ice breakers to meet new friends—with STEM activities and subjects. The benefits of these camps become twofold: your child gets the typical camp experience while gaining mastery in new, important areas.
4. Builds skills for the future
Each year, many STEM jobs in America go unfilled and the number of STEM jobs continues to rise. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of STEM jobs in the U.S. is expected to rise by 14% before 2020. Why should this matter for your child? Kids that are comfortable and confident in STEM subjects have a leg up when it comes to working toward high-paying and secure STEM jobs in the future.
Stumped on where to find a STEM summer camp for your kids? Try looking on your local 4-H site or on 4-H.org! STEM education is one of the pillars of 4-H, and opportunities abound for great STEM camps within the program. HughesNet has been a proud partner of 4-H STEM educational programs for 5 years. Check out the videos of our previous HughesNet sponsored 4-H STEM summer camps here!