On Friday, area students completed three weeks of learning and fun through STREAM Camp at Marietta College.
STREAM Camp, which stands for Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, Math) is a program sponsored by MC’s Department of Education designed to help students in grades K-6 develop better reading skills, oral and written communication skills, and positive attitudes towards reading.
This is the pilot year of new science, technology, engineering, art and math activities and instruction.
Some of the activities included making pizza ovens to make smores, students built bridges and houses out of popsicle sticks to test engineering integrity, there were creative writing classes where students have written, produced, directed and filmed their own films and plays, they have created their own passports and “visit” different countries every few days to learn about new cultures, they wrote and created artwork for their own graphic novels, and much more.
“Kids love creative writing, art and wellness.” said Dr. Raven Cromwell, assistant professor of education and director of the program. “So I would like to see if we could maybe have some theater, or even some music for next year. We want to focus on the whole child. So content-specific material, but which also promotes their social, emotional and well-being.
The cost of the camp is $300, $20 for registration and $280 for camp, but scholarships are available and much of the money used comes from donations and grants. Some organizations that have contributed are the Marietta Community Foundation, the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, and the Ohio Deans Compact. Dr. Dottie Herb and Dr. Carole Hancock, who created the reading camp, made a generous donation, Dr. Janet Bland, rector and dean of faculty at MC, also made a donation, and the Marietta Morning Rotary.
“Marietta Morning Rotary didn’t just donate money, they donated their time,” said Cromwell. “Every morning, one or two volunteer readers from their organization come and read aloud to the children. So it was absolutely wonderful. We would be nothing without our sponsors.
The program pairs trainee teachers—Marietta College students entering their final year—with established teachers. Colton Abate, entering his senior year at MC, teamed up with Koral Fleming, the kindergarten transition teacher at Washington Elementary.
“STREAM Camp gives you a totally different experience of classroom management, time management, preparation, planning and how to really get the kids working for a full day.” Abate said. “It’s something that really boosted my confidence working here, and got me ready for my full internship and ready to go to class. Whereas if I hadn’t, I would have started my senior year a little stressed and a little nervous.
Cromwell said she would like to expand the program next year to include even more interns, teachers and students, but would need funding to do so.
“I would like to increase our staff” said Cromwell. “The only thing stopping us is being able to pay staff what they deserve. If I want quality staff to do quality activities, I have to pay them what they deserve.
Registration for students wishing to attend the camp will begin next school year in February when applications are submitted to schools. In the meantime, those interested in the program can get more information on the STREAM website at mcstreamcamp.com.