by Dave Warner

The Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA) hosted another STEAM Camp at Benton Hall Academy this week, taught by Tracy Young, and three volunteers from the high school.

STEAM is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics as access points to guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process.

This was the third time that Young had taught the class for MVCA. “This week we had 28 registered for the morning class and 17 for the afternoon one,” she said.

The morning class was K-2 and the afternoon was 3-5. “The program was all weather and snow-related. We did igloos, and sleds, using whatever they can find in the classroom and a Lego mini-figure.”

They then raced the sleds to see which was fastest and those that were slowest. The students also got to build snowflakes out of q-tips, and popsicle sticks so that they could study design and discuss how they are all different.

“They also did snowman bowling and had to decorate the paper tubes and then bowl with a ball and keep score, so they had to do addition and work together to make everything,” Young stated.

Also on tap were bird feeders, snowball launchers, a ski lift and other activities that had to do with snow and weather.

There were several students that participated in the Winter STEAM Camp that aren’t normally in the Engineering by Design classes at Benton Hall. Young said, “We even had some home-schooled kids and they are really fitting right in and enjoying it.”

“It was nice, I just went over the rules and most of the EBD kids already knew them and they just fell right in and understood that they have to work together, even though there were multiple grade levels working together,” she said.

The MVCA Winter STEAM Camp was made possible by the Dale Memorial Trust.