WISE ACADIA Camp Full STEAM Ahead: A Great Success

WISE ACADIA Camp Full STEAM Ahead: A Great Success
Barb Anderson
Randy Newman
Jen Richard

From August 6 to 9, WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Acadia held its third annual overnight summer science camp for girls entering grades 7 and 8. The Full STEAM Ahead camp was organized by a planning Team of WISE Acadia faculty, staff, and students and welcomed thirty campers from across the province to the Acadia University campus. The girls experienced a variety of speakers, workshops, arts-based activities, and many fun events (including the leaders ‘roasting’ marshmallows for s’mores under a broiler due to the fire ban, while the campers checked out the skies using telescopes from the physics department). The eleven to thirteen year old girls participated in ten workshops run by Acadia faculty and students, as well as WISE partners. Over the four-day period the girls experienced topics including Coding 101 – with robots (computer science), Best of Boat Worlds (engineering), Drink your Ink (biology), Girls in Motion mLAB (kinesiology), STEAMSpace Marshmallow Challenge (business) and WISE Women of the World (education). As well as highlighting science, our camp focused on how the integration of arts enhances learning in science education by encouraging students to think creatively and develop unique solutions to problems.

Campers who attended shared with us that one of the most popular sessions of the week was a mentoring session hosted by female students at Acadia, who are studying a broad spectrum of STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). In small group discussions, the Acadia students shared their experiences and research interests with the campers, some who will be the scientists of the future. Acadia students were also involved as residence assistants and in shepherding the campers around the campus.

Supporting girls learning about science at a young age and being exposed to mentors who work in STEAM fields has been shown to make a difference in the career choices they make. Visit facebook.com/WISEacadia/ to see some photographs of the very successful camp. Details about the 2020 camp will be made available in the spring.