The Fox Chapel Area School District is pleased to announce that its STEAM summer camps for rising first- through eighth-graders throughout the district will return June 14-18 and be held at Fairview Elementary School. Our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) camps feature a series of interdisciplinary lessons that will focus on topics such as coding, robotics, drones, engineering design, digital fabrication, ecology, geology, and nature. Sessions will include hands-on experiments, stimulating investigations, project-based learning, and thoughtful exploration facilitated by certified educators, as well as community partners from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.
The camps will be held daily from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The camps will culminate in a virtual open house on Friday, June 18. Parents/guardians are responsible for transporting their child/children to and from their summer camp(s) each day.
Face coverings will be required, and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts will be in effect. Camp sessions will be held both indoors and outdoors. Students must bring a packed lunch. They will enjoy lunch and recess in the outdoor courtyard area or green space as the weather permits. Other outdoor spaces, including the nearby creek and trails, will be utilized for learning activities.
Registration will occur via Eventbrite by clicking here starting on Wednesday, March 10, at 10 a.m. with limited capacity to ensure proper social distancing. Camps will be limited to 16 participants each. The cost is $275 per camper. Scholarships are available. Please see the Eventbrite link for more details.
We hope that your child will join us for one of these engaging and exciting summer learning opportunities!
Our camp topics and their full descriptions are below:
Spy Science & Maker Madness – Grades 1-3
Students entering grades 1-3 will participate in two half-day sessions – one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
Who hasn’t dreamed about being a secret agent? During the morning session, students will explore forensic science concepts such as chromatography, printing, and reflection through a series of hands-on investigations. They will also crack secret messages and build spy gadgets or robots to aid in their surveillance skills. This super-sleuthing camp is sure to be a hit!
During the second session, students will participate in “Maker Madness.” Each day, students will partake in a number of various engineering projects that will challenge their imagination and creativity skills. From crafting and experimenting to coding and creating, students will enjoy the wide variety of design challenges they will dive into during this fun-filled camp.
Perfect for kids in the primary grades, these camps will introduce STEAM concepts and give students some cool ideas and projects to ignite curiosity and exploration.
Garden Discoveries & Chemistry in the Kitchen – Grades 1-3
Students entering grades 1, 2, and 3 will participate in two half-day sessions – one in the morning and the other in the afternoon – that incorporate lots of hands-on learning and fun!
During Session 1, students will participate in Garden Discoveries. Plants and flowers beguile us with their striking beauty and lovely scent. Students will create, observe, research, and get their hands dirty while studying the wonderful world of horticulture. Students will create a variety of activities linked to both science and art centered around a theme of plants/flowers. Dive into this fascinating class to gain a fresh appreciation for nature!
During Session 2, students will take part in daily experiments and messy explorations with Chemistry in the Kitchen. Grab a whisk and explore the science of cooking as we create tasty treats and learn a thing or two about the food that we eat. This class mixes chemistry with cooking to give kids a fun, hands-on learning experience. Students will also explore different chemical reactions and solutions through a series of engaging hands-on investigations and artistic explorations. Don't miss out on this sweet STEAM camp!
Birds and Bugs – Grades 2-5
Did you know that birds help design some caterpillars? And some ants might clean feathers? There are so many ways that birds and insects depend on each other.
Students entering grades 2-5 will join Miss Gabi from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania for an exciting week learning about two of her favorite groups of animals – wild birds and bugs! Birds and bugs are the coolest! Let's discover the creatures that live all around us – how do they survive, how do we identify them, how can we help them. And then let’s head outside to find them!
Adventures and learning experiences will be centered around the theme of wild birds, bugs, and how they are connected in the natural world. Every day, we will spend time outside to explore bird and insect identification and behavior using field guides, journals, and binoculars. We also will explore the school grounds as citizen/community scientists, reporting our finds, analyzing data and mapping habitats. Throughout the week, we will also play nature games, relax and reflect at our sit spots, build nests, make art, and design a project that will help birds, bugs, and even us!
Students will also have the opportunity to spend one day of camp exploring birds and bugs on site at Beechwood Farms!
Earth & Sky – Grades 3-6
This out-of-this-world camp will be an incredible fusion of science and mindfulness!
Students will enjoy scientific studies and projects exploring the surface of the Earth all the way to the sky! The week’s learning will unfold through studies of our planet’s elements: Earth’s crust and landforms, our water cycle, our atmosphere, and our solar system. Accompanying yoga shapes, breath work, and other mindfulness activities will complement our scientific topics each day.
We will venture out of our classroom space and onto school grounds to a stream and planetarium! Additionally, expect emphasis on how our Earth and its cycles are affected by human behavior, as well as how we might reduce and reuse to promote a healthier balance for our planet. This camp is sure to excite future ecologists, geologists, and astronomers!
Simple Machine Dream Team – Grades 3-6Do you have a knack for inventions? Students entering grades 4-7 will learn about the 6 types of simple machines and their ability to multiply forces. Participating inventors will have a chance to build models and demonstrate how simple machines use mechanical advantage. Their creativity skills will be put to the test as they design their very own “Rube Goldberg” apparatus using recycled and repurposed materials.
There’s a Drone for That! – Grades 4-7
Believe it or not, the original “Star Wars” actually predicted the future! When the movies were made, we could only dream of a world where robots did jobs for us. Now, Amazon is getting ready to deliver packages via drone, and we have robots automating just about every industry.
In this session, students will learn to fly an indoor drone via remote control and block code, and program a Sphero robotic ball using block code.
Students entering grades 4-7 will work to design a pathway for the Sphero to follow and build a drone obstacle course in teams. Students will prototype, redesign, and refine while working on both objectives. They will also learn the basics of coding and robotic aviation while collaborating and thinking creatively to design their drone obstacle courses.
Engineering & Coding Creations – Grades 4-7
Students entering grades 4-7 will engage in a project-based learning experience that incorporates engineering design and coding. Students will collaborate to determine a project theme, then after exploring coding concepts using the Dash Robot, they will plan their individual contributions to the project. Each student will use Scratch block coding and Hummingbird boards to make a 3D creation come to life in an impressive display for our virtual showcase.
Students will take on the role of engineers as they design, build, code, and create in this workshop. Participants will engage in artistic practices such as playfulness, collaboration, and iteration, resulting in skills that encourage and instill creative confidence.
Fabrication Factory – Grades 5-8
Students entering grades 5-8 will engage in a digital fabrication experience! Student entrepreneurs will learn how to envision, prototype, and document their ideas in a fast-paced, hands-on learning environment. Participants will use Fox Chapel Area fabrication equipment and makerspaces to engage in the engineering design process as they transform an idea to an invention!
Students will have access to a range of technology tools to explore while prototyping, such as 3D printers, laser engravers, vinyl cutters, screen printing equipment, and computer machining. Students will also learn about public speaking and marketing as they prepare to pitch their ideas to prospective “investors” a la “Shark Tank.” This class is sure to be a hit!
Students are encouraged to come to camp with various problems they will attempt to solve, but refrain from bringing solutions; we’ll get to that!
We’re excited for the return of our STEAM camps this summer, and we hope that your child will be joining us for these engaging, educational sessions!