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STEAM Week fun!

It was full-”STEAM” ahead for more than 60 Meyersdale Area School District students June 20-24 as they enjoyed a week of fun and learning for the 2022 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Enrichment Program.


Based on the sounds of laughter and fun, STEAM 2022 proved to be just as much fun for the adults as the students. Each day featured a variety of activities designed to teach and inspire students to consider different methods and steps to solve challenges and complete tasks.


According to Angela Boutiller, STEAM Week coordinator, this was the first year MASD held a dedicated STEAM Week for summer programming. Students in Kindergarten through grade 12 were invited to attend. 


“We have incorporated STEM/STEAM activities in past summer programs, but this was the first time the District has designated specific program offerings for STEAM/STEM specifically,”
Boutiller, Special Education Coordinator explained. “The District has made a targeted effort to increase and promote STEAM/STEM programming and this was a perfect opportunity to provide students with a variety of activities to pique their interest and spark the desire to participate further.”


Boutiller, along with faculty and staff members, offered a wide array of activities for students each day designed to challenge students while working individually and collaboratively. 


“There are so many positive advantages to STEAM activities. Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics can be used as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, and persist in problem-solving,” she added. “The STEAM activities don’t necessarily provide students with the right answer. The student must work through the task and find a successful solution. It can be challenging and sometimes a frustrating process to work through, but with guidance, inquiry, and self-discovery,Egg Drop Challenge the students find a way to make it work. When it doesn’t work, the student needs to re-evaluate and reflect on what they can do to improve on the task’s end result.”


The week opened with a special challenge for the students. Groups were given cans of Pringles chips and instructed to build a three-dimensional circle. While only one group was successful, the groups enthusiastically tackled this challenge as well as many others, including 3D printing; coding; building rockets; towers made of index cards; Hexbug Lego courses; crafting foil boats; and designing structures with only spaghetti noodles and marshmallows. More than 20 stations were available for students to explore and enjoy. 


On the final day of the STEAM Week Camp, students enjoyed a day of fun that included rocket launches, games and even a sweet treat!


“I think the program was a success, many students expressed that they didn’t want the week to end,” Boutiller added. “To me, that is a good sign that the students truly enjoyed their learning experience!”