60% of High School STEM Students Say, “No More STEM!”
But Summer Technical Camp Can Create a Thirst for Technology in Teens
According to a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, “Students Giving Up on STEM”, close to 60% of the nation’s students who begin high school interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) changes their mind by graduation. Jobs in technology are growing, but who is going to fill them? Possibly not U.S. graduates if there isn’t a shift to encourage more students to study STEM throughout their middle and high school years.
Creating Real-Life Connections and Enthusiasm Are the Keys
In a 2011 study conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Microsoft, a dismal 1 in 5 STEM college students felt that their K-12 education prepared them well for their college courses in STEM. Over-crowded classes, standards-focused coursework and budget cuts all contribute to the lack of a quality K-12 focus on STEM. What little STEM curriculum is being taught consists of discrete courses in science and math that typically offer no real insights as to how these courses are applicable to the real world or students’ own futures.
But there is a way to increase students’ enthusiasm towards STEM. Opportunities outside the classroom can help students draw the connection between math and science, real-world applications and STEM careers.
ABC Technical Camps, a summer program where kids ages 7-18 are immersed in hands-on tech learning, offers programs focused on a wide range of STEM topics, and includes problem-solving, team based learning, and critical thinking as core building blocks. ABC Technical Camps’ philosophy is experience-based learning in a definitely non-traditional, fun environment. Beginners as well as more advanced students are provided customized curriculum, the latest/greatest technology products, and knowledgeable adult staff with a guaranteed maximum ratio of 8:1.
During the summer, programs are held nationally at some 60+ top universities, and students develop iPhoneR and AndroidTM apps, make movies with AdobeR After EffectsR, build robots, create video games, work with digital photography, or complete other tech-based projects. ABC Technical Camps is celebrating its 15th season in 2013, and has inspired some 150,000 students in their summer camps over the past decade.
Just one example of inspiration comes from Katherine, who attended ABC Technical Camps’ summer camps in Los Angeles for 4 years. When asked how the camps impacted her goals she said, “ABC Technical Camps…essentially created my goals because I would have never been so interested in animation or programming if I hadn’t attended ABC Technical Camps.” Katherine continued with her animation interests after camp and created an animated short for Project Yellow Light’s “Don’t Text and Drive” campaign, winning 1st place, and is now attending the University of Southern California School of Cinematic arts on Presidential Scholarship. ABC Technical Camps is definitely doing what it can to help create a thirst for technology in teens.