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posted: Thu, Feb 16th, 2017

STEAM summer program is back

This July, students can once again explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) in Innovation Station, Mount Olive School District's popular summer camp.

Innovation Station is an opportunity for students to nurture their scientific creativity and curiosity, and learn real-world applications of scientific concepts. It provides hands-on learning experiences and this year includes new courses, updated favorites, and a new robotics class exclusively for incoming ninth-graders.

The program runs for two weeks, July 17–July 28, and will be held at Mount Olive High School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Students may attend either one or both weeks. Lunch and free transportation to students in Mount Olive will be provided. The cost is $250 per week. 

Students outside the school district may attend but must provide their own transportation.

Registration ends on June 1. 

For more information and to register, go to: http://www.mtoliveboe.org/summercamp.


Pouring on the STEAM 

More than 300 students and parents recently attended Mountain View's Family STEAM Night, an event focused on activities that combined science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). There were nearly two dozen hands-on activities set up throughout the school that challenged students and parents to think, collaborate, and create.

One of the most popular was the Marshmallow Challenge. Each group of three to five members worked together to build the tallest free-standing structure they could with the materials provided: 20 sticks of spaghetti, a yard of tape, a yard of string, and one marshmallow which had to sit atop the structure.

In another, groups were challenged to build a load-bearing tower that could hold weight in a suspended container.

The evening was the vision of instructional supervisor Jen Olsyn who worked with Dr. Frank Fischel, principal, and a team of teacher volunteers to bring it all together.

"I wanted to provide a fun opportunity for parents to work with their kids and experience the types of lessons that happen in our classrooms every day," said Mrs. Olsyn, who began planning the event in November. "It's a totally different way of learning than in the past. It's high-energy, hands-on, and collaborative. The students really enjoyed showing their parents what they could do."

Over the past three years, the district has made STEAM education a priority. Not only are STEAM skills becoming more and more important in the modern workforce but the dynamic of STEAM instruction, with its emphasis on innovation and critical thinking, has been shown to be incredibly powerful. 

"In education there's often just one right answer for something and we need to change that thinking," Mrs. Olsyn said. "It's not really reflective of life. We need to show that there are many ways to get to great end products and trial and error is an important part of the process. We should encourage kids to take risks and learn from their successes and mistakes. That's how you grow."

The faculty members on the STEAM Team who helped plan and coordinate this special night were: Jen Bond, Emily Cali, Sherri Clemente, Kelsey Crist, Desiree Enrico, Melissa Ezro, Jami Lionetti, Melissa Marvin, Peg Maute, Laura Murdoch, Jen Miller, Leslie Potente, Christine Rogoff, Gloria Silva, Corinne Sylvester, and Janice VanHorne.

About 35 members of Mount Olive High School's chapter of the Science National Honor Society assisted with the activities.

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Mountain View School
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