It’s the fourth year for the Austin STEAM Scout Camp, and this year, they’re gearing up to explore one of Earth’s deepest and most mysterious natural wonders with TechLab: Caves.
“Each year, the Austin STEAM Scout Camp trains youth to live in extreme environments,” said Jessica Snider, Director of STEM, Conservation and Sustainability, Boy Scouts Capitol Area Council. “This year we’re exploring how to survive the extreme environment of caves.”
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 use tools like DSLR cameras, laser cutter/engravers, 3D printers, robotics kits, hydrology display boards, Adobe Creative Suite and Labview software to explore, design and create.
New classes for this year’s camp include a welding class for older youth, and a CNC woodworking class, where the kids can use CNC (computer numeric control) routers. For younger kids, there will be two different tracks, covering topics including programming, animation, physics and geology.
Campers are taught by professional staff assembled through Austin Independent School District, STEM Scouts and Boy Scouts of America. The camp believes that the future of a creative and tech savvy population in Austin rests in engaging and educating children. In a world where more and more jobs require knowledge of STEM, the Austin STEAM Scout Camp is a positive learning experience for every camp goer. In addition to powering full “STEAM” ahead into the world of caves, this year’s camp will also focus on collaboration and the importance of treating others well.
“This year, we’re going to talk about collaboration and inclusiveness,” said Snider. “One of the things the camp’s really working on is helping kids start to work in collaborative environments, to communicate their ideas, and to hear and value each other’s ideas.”
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 runs June 11-June 15, Week 2 runs June 18-June 22, Week 3 runs June 25-June 29, Week 4 runs July 9-July 13, and Week 5 runs July 16-20. There are 200 spaces available each week, with seven class options for ages 11 and up, and two different class set options for younger campers, giving them a broad and thorough survey of the various disciplines.
“The younger kids go through all of our classes,” said Snider. “One of the interesting things we found is that, when younger kids come in, most want to do robotics, but by taking all four classes, they gained a broader interest in all of the topics.”
The Austin STEAM Scout Camp also believes 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 several students from disadvantaged areas. It’s all part of the camp’s mission to share the importance of STEAM with students from all walks of life.
“Attendance in a camp like this can make the big different in students’ STEM readiness,” said Snider. “We aim to make sure all youth know that STEAM can be for them.”
Registration is $325 per youth, and includes a T-shirt, patch, flash drive and two nutritious snacks daily. For registration and more info, visit www.techlab.camp today!