STEM You Can! 2021 Virtual Camp Experience + Experiment Kits

  • Location
    Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • Status
  • Age Level
    8 to 10 Years
    11 to 13 Years

The Problem

During COVID-19, many young girls have lost hands-on opportunities to learn STEM through experiments and builds. The lost experience in addition to the lack of female representation in STEM can be discouraging and demotivating.

Our Plan

Our goal is to provide a free, one week STEM summer camp for girls in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Prior to the camp, we will provide experiment kits containing materials to perform multiple experiments and builds including bacteria petri dishes, popsicle stick catapults, balloon rockets, and mini solar ovens. Throughout the camp, taught over Zoom or in-person at a local park, we will show students how to perform the experiments while focusing on several specific STEM categories including chemistry, biology, physics, earth sciences, engineering, and cryptography. We will also hold encouraging discussions about women in STEM and talk about past women pioneers in STEM. This camp will give these girls an empowering and hands-on experience with STEM.

Themes Addressed

  • term icon
  • term icon
  • term icon
    Poverty & Equity
  • term icon

The Benefit

  • term icon

Here is how the project went:

The project went amazing since our team was able to put together 23 hands-on kits containing experiment materials, exciting lesson-plans, and a live week-long camp to 4th-6th grade kids in Elizabeth.

Through this project I/we learned:

We learned the importance of good planning and clear communication. We had to stay on top of grant applications such as this, communicate with the Library, delegate work designing lessons, and finally communicate our plans to the community so that we could push out this project to an audience.

What I/we might change:

If we did this project, we would layout each day more clearly to the participants so they know exactly what they signed up for. Hopefully, depending on COVID circumstances, this project could be held as a much more engaging, fully in-person camp!

My/our favorite part of this project was:

My personal favorite part of this project was seeing the kids' smiles on their faces as they followed along over Zoom. We demonstrated each experiment and build while answering the kids' questions. I think that the pandemic has really turned necessary hands-on learning upside down so I think this project distributing materials to each kid brought a lot of joy to them.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

In this project, we also learned a lot about engagement. I think it's important not to have dull, direct lectures with no interaction at all, especially for elementary school/middle school aged kids. Remember to ask lots of questions, ask what suggestions they might have, and try to let the kids try out the experiment themselves (under safe guidelines of course).

About Roots & Shoots

We are nurturing the compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

Get To Know Our Model

New Report