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Kingsport schools set to offer STREAM camp this summer

February 21st, 2014 11:20 pm by Rick Wagner

Kingsport schools set to offer STREAM camp this summer

KINGSPORT — Have a student who’d like to test water quality in a creek, build a catapult or learn about the arts or chemistry this summer?

If the student is a rising fourth- through eighth-grader in Kingsport City Schools, he or she will have the chance to attend a new STREAM camp this summer.

STREAM stands for science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and math.

The camp is to be held at Robinson Middle School but is open to students throughout the system. The cost is $200, although a 25 percent discount is to be offered for families with more than one child attending and at least two full scholarships are to be offered.

Krissy Turner, associate principal at Robinson, and Carmen Bryant, director of secondary education for Kingsport City Schools, told the city school board Thursday night the camp is set for June 23-27 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has space for 100 campers, although if there is enough interest another session or more slots might become available.

Tuition is expected to raise about $20,000 at $200 per student, with another $5,000 coming from the STEM or science, technology, engineering and math hub at East Tennessee State University, Turner and Bryant said.

Sign-up information about the camp is to go out the week of March 3 to eligible students.

BOE President Carrie Upshaw suggested Bryant and Turner check with Parent Teacher Associations or Parent Teacher Organizations at schools to see if they might provide additional scholarships. Turner said the system might be able to come up with more funds for scholarships, too, and they urged interested students to apply regardless of their financial means.

Eastman Chemical Co., the Kingsport Arts Council and the Kingsport Engineering Department are helping support the program, which will have eight teachers funded through revenues in the program and another two funded by KCS.

Students will be split into two sections, one grades 4-6 and the other grades 7-8.

Areas of focus will be chemistry, environmental concerns, project-based engineering, the arts and STREAM and STEM career speakers.

Each student will do a digital portfolio as part of the camp, which will include things such as doing a water quality study on a local creek, building a catapult, building bridges and exploring the chemistry of toothpaste. But it also will include an arts component, which may include an arts walk tour downtown.

Turner and Bryant said the idea is to have activities that students could not do or could not easily do on their own.

“I hate to see it limited to just a few,” BOE member Randy Montgomery said, to which Superintendent Lyle Ailshie responded that the program may be expanded this year or in future years based on demand.

The idea, Ailshie said, is to make the program grow into “our own governor’s school for science.”

The STREAM camp’s first year comes as KCS pulls out of Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee, a STEM program it and Sullivan County schools have jointly operated under a federal grant that runs out at the end of this school year.

Sullivan County plans to continue that program, supported by the ETSU STEM hub, and probably make IA a school with a state number, not just a program where student scores are accounted for at home or base schools.

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