A group of high-schoolers from Wheeler High School are offering elementary and middle school students a chance to review and prepare for the upcoming school year. For two weeks in July, students in the Wheeler Magnet program will host “Camp QuaranSTEAM” for middle-schoolers, and “Back to School Camp” for elementary ages. The camps are designed to refresh key concepts learned last year as well as prepare campers for the year ahead.
The Wheeler students belong to a group called Engaging Students in STEM (ESS). Founded by rising-senior Mehul Kalia, ESS seeks to promote and teach how STEM disciplines are both important and interesting. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education is becoming increasingly critical in our modern age of computers and applied technology.
“I volunteer at an afterschool program for elementary school kids,” Mehul said. “When helping them with math homework, it was obvious the kids were bored and discouraged even before starting. However, proficiency in math, science, and technology are quintessential in the 21st-century job market.”
Along with several other rising seniors, Mehul set out to make STEM exciting and fun for younger students. When Cobb schools closed in mid-March earlier this year, ESS sprang into action and began tutoring students with remote learning classes and one-on-one sessions.
“We helped kids learn new concepts and do their homework in the absence of physical classes,” Mehul said. “Many parents expressed their gratitude and we were inspired to keep tutoring, eventually exceeding 100 one-on-one sessions!”
Based on what they learned about online tutoring in the spring, Mehul and his team recognized that mid-summer would be a great time to launch preparation courses, and the idea for the summer camps was born.
“Currently, we have hundreds of students signed up for our summer camps,” Mehul said excitedly, “but we want to spread our passion for STEM to as many students as possible!”
Camp QuaranSTEAM (July 13-17) provides rising 5th – 9th graders a unique opportunity to explore a field of STEAM in an in-depth manner for a week. Sessions are available in Computer Science, Environmental Science, Engineering, and Food Science. Each session involves students being introduced to exciting topics, and later utilizing what they’ve learned to complete fascinating, hands-on activities.
The Back to School Camp (July 20-24) is a one-week refresher course for elementary students. This program will provide children with intensive practice in reading, writing, and math. Students will review last year’s concepts as well as look ahead to their upcoming grade.
“Students have spent more than four months outside of the classroom,” Mehul said. “Many may struggle to recall key concepts. Since we all have experience working with kids remotely and doing STEM activities, we are confident these camps will run smoothly.”
Both camps have been very popular and are nearing capacity. Click the links below to learn more about each camp being offered by ESS. Learn more about Mehul Kalia and the rest of the ESS team by visiting their website here.