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    Idaho’s STEM program reaches over a hundred local youth through new summer camps

    Idaho’s STEM program reaches over a hundred local youth through new summer camps

    Photo By Crystal Farris | Fourth through sixth graders from the Migrant Summer School Program in Caldwell spent...... read more read more



    Story by Crystal Farris 

    Idaho Army National Guard

    More than 170 Idaho students from five different schools and agencies participated in STARBASE-Idaho summer camps this summer as the program expanded from a single camp for children of Idaho National Guardsmen to eight camps with three specially designed themes.

    “This year we expanded out and got more creative, which was really exciting because we were able to serve more kids than we normally get to see and try out some new and fun curriculum,” said Courtney Taylor, program director. “In previous years, STARBASE just had one summer camp on Gowen Field exclusively for Guard kids and we also traveled to Migrant summer schools in Nampa and Caldwell, but to teach the same lessons we did during the normal school year.”

    During the school year, the Department of Defense sponsored program provides Title I fifth grade students with 25 hours of “hands-on, minds-on” STEM education on Gowen Field. Since opening in 2018, the program has helped supplement the education of over 7,000 students, including through its afterschool and summer programs.

    In June, the program debuted its three new summer camp themes that included a “CSI” forensic science camp, a “Mission to Mars” engineering camp and a “Search and Rescue” survival camp.

    Themes were created by STARBASE instructors, who designed 25 hours of curriculum and hand-on activities for each week-long camp. Taylor said the instructors were excited about the summer camps, which gave them the opportunity to explore new and innovative ways of teaching STEM.

    “Summer is the time the program has given us to step outside our normal curriculum and experiment to try out new areas of STEM and develop new lessons we can then possibly submit to our national program for youth and other STARBASE programs across the nation,” said Taylor. “Our STARBASE staff were really excited about developing this new program and we hope to continue the curriculum into future summer camps and possibly the normal academic year.”

    Throughout the summer, STARBASE collaborated with staff and volunteers to serve students in five schools and local agencies, including the Caldwell Migrant Summer School Program; the Idaho Wing of the Civil Air Patrol; a camp for children of Idaho National Guard members; the Learning Garden Children’s Center in Meridian; and four different regions of the YMCA. Each camp facilitated approximately 15 to 30 students ranging from the third to sixth grade.

    The schools and agencies were given an option between STARBASE’s three different themes and its corresponding curriculum, which students received in part on Gowen Field and also offsite with STARBASE instructors traveling to various locations within the community.

    Having the ability to travel outside of Gowen Field enabled STARBASE to reach more students, including those outside its normal districts that the program serves throughout the school year, Taylor said.

    “Normally during the school year, STARBASE cannot travel out into the schools, so the schools have to come out to Gowen Field,” said Taylor. “During the summer, it’s a whole different story. We put on supplemental programs and are able to then pack up a car and take everything out to the school site or wherever the program is hosting.”

    STARBASE instructors traveled to several YMCA locations in Nampa, where they presented a week-long forensic science camp as part of its “CSI” curriculum; the Hillsdale YMCA in Meridian, where students participated in a search and rescue camp; and the West Boise YMCA where they gave students an introduction to STARBASE and STEM.

    Students from most of the schools and agencies were able to visit Gowen Field for one day during their camps, where they practiced lessons and hands-on activities in the STARBASE classrooms, as well as explored STEM throughout some of the Idaho National Guard’s various units.

    In June, students from the YMCA visited Gowen Field as part of their forensic science camp. During their visit, they toured the Idaho National Guard’s 101st Civil Support Team and some of the unit’s equipment used to detect and identify hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction. In the STARBASE classroom, they explored how to solve imaginary crimes, including the study of human anatomy and how to make bite mark impressions, as well as the study of forensic entomology and fingerprinting.

    Later in July, young third and fourth grade students from the Learning Garden Children’s Center received an introduction to STEM on Gowen Field, while also getting to enjoy climbing on some of the Idaho National Guard’s tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles.

    STARBASE wrapped up its summer camp program on Gowen Field, July 15, with a visit from the students of the Migrant Summer School Program. Fourth through sixth graders spent a day on Gowen Field exploring the Idaho National Guard’s 204th Regional Training Institute and learning about arson investigation, facial reconstruction and the basics of gathering accounts from eyewitness as part of its forensic science camp.



    Date Taken: 07.16.2022
    Date Posted: 07.16.2022 12:50
    Story ID: 425138
    Location: BOISE, ID, US 

    Web Views: 99
    Downloads: 0