New Summer of STEM program takes off in Cincinnati

Local children are enjoying a new mix of camps and activities this summer as part of the Summer of STEM. The program focuses on increasing the awareness and availability of STEM-related opportunities (science, technology, engineering and math) and is a collaboration between the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative (GCSC) and ArtsWave.

The resulting website, Cincy ARTS + STEM, is a place where parents and educators can search by grade level, date, discipline, provider and type of activity to find various camps and activities. Activities range from engineering and robotics to testing Ohio River water to African dance to developing mobile-game applications. 

“GCSC is thrilled with our region’s first-ever Summer of STEM," says Mary Adams, GCSC program manager. "It's connecting more students, including some of the most underserved, to many of our region’s best summer education programs. GCSC’s growing network of partners are excited about the possibilities we’re creating for students’ futures and our region’s future.”

The integration of STEM and the arts was something Cincinnati didn't realize it needed. 

“Both the arts and STEM are vital parts of education, and that’s why ArtsWave was so excited to work with the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative on the website,” ArtsWave President and CEO Alecia Kinter says. “The online guide highlights great programs, including those running during the Summer of STEM, that ensure that students in Greater Cincinnati develop the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century workforce: innovation, creativity, collaboration and more.”

Just one of the many programs is happening at William Howard Taft STEM Elementary, where fourth and fifth graders have been learning how to plant and tend to gardens. They have focused on planning, measuring, evaluating soil, studying water conditions and irrigation.

"The GCSC Summer of STEM initiative has provided students participating in the summer Organic Gardening program the opportunity to learn about an important sustainable life skill in an urban setting," says Elizabeth Cone, school community coordinator at William Howard Taft. "Everything in the garden has been planted and managed by the students. They have learned about plant biology as well as the healthy benefits of eating what you grow. The feeling of accomplishment is so evident on their faces when they see the seeds they've planted grow into food. They are even more excited about taking what they've learned to their own backyards or even patios."  

Do Good:

• Take a look at the camps and programs available on the Cincy ARTS + STEM website

• Learn more about the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative.

• For more information on ArtsWave, visit its website
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