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It’s the third year for the Austin STEAM Scout Camp, and they’re gearing up to explore one of Earth’s greatest treasures — TechLab: Rainforest.
“With two great new classes, this year will be amazing,” says Jessica Snider, Director of STEM, Conservation and Sustainability, Boy Scouts Capitol Area Council. “Every year we have a theme that trains kids to live in extreme environments. This year it’s going to be rainforest, so we’re working with partners to develop ways to teach camp participants citizen science programming, VR and drone science and expedition planning and expedition gear development.”
The Austin STEAM Camp provides the type of engagement, excitement and hands-on activities required for successful early STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education. Camp attendees will use tools like DSLR cameras, laser cutter/engravers, 3D printers, robotics kits (including state-of-the-art NAO robots), hydrology display boards, Adobe Creative Suite software, VR and remote sensing to explore, study, design and create. The camp will also feature classes like Toy Design (for younger kids) and Model Design (for older kids) where attendees will learn everything from the basics of CAD design and Tinkercad to working with and taking care of the actual 3D printers.
The camp is open to boys and girls entering the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth grades, and camp participants do not have to be a registered Boy Scout or Girl Scout to attend. Week 1 will run June 13-June 17, Week 2 will run June 20-June 24, Week 3 will run June 27-July 1, Week 4 will run July 11-July 15 and Week 5 will run July 17-21. There are 800 spaces available, with 8 different class options for kids ages 11 and up, and four topics covered in the classes for kids age 10 and under. In a world where more and more jobs require knowledge of STEM, this camp is one that will be a learning experience for any camp goer.
“One of the things we push is, to be a good citizen, you really need to understand STEM,” says Snider. “You need to know how science and technology affects our world.”
The camp also believes that STEAM should available to all youth, and is working to ensure opportunities are in place so anyone who wants to attend is able to do so. Generous grants have allowed the camp to provide scholarships for students from disadvantaged areas. The camp provides free breakfast and lunches for attendees who come in on scholarship, along with transportation.
“Attendance in a camp like this can make the big different in students’ STEM readiness,” says Snider. “By knock down barriers like cost and transportation, we aim to make sure all youth know that STEM can be for them.”
Registration is $325 per youth, and will include a T-shirt, patch, flash drive and two nutritious snacks daily. Box lunches are available for order for each day; please select this option during registration and indicate any dietary concerns.
For registration and more info, visit http://www.techlab.camp/.