STEM Camp Edu, hosted annually in Fluxspace, is a two-day educational training for teachers best described as “a children's summer camp but for educators.” Teachers from all different areas gather to receive training on classroom tools and products while also having the opportunity to network and connect with like-minded educators. The event fosters a collaborative environment where teachers learn from each other, exchange ideas, and share resources while gaining hands-on experience with products here at Fluxspace.
Throughout the two days, the teachers were divided into teams and attended different sessions, where they received lessons on various technologies such as Flux Laser cutters, Wonder Workshop Dash Robots, and Tinkercad 3D Modeling, all aimed at enhancing their teaching methods. They also split up and worked on group activities that challenged their teamwork and critical thinking skills. Additionally, raffle tickets were given to teachers who promoted the event on social media, participated in large group sessions, and won group competitions- giving them a chance to win prizes at the end of the event.
The highlight of the two days was the Invention Work Shark Tank competition. Teachers formed teams instructed to collaborate to follow the prompt of creating a product that helps people. Using resources available in Fluxspace, they developed a prototype, pitch, and presentation for their product. This hands-on activity allowed them to be relieved of the supervisor role, and to step into the shoes of students. The competition promoted engagement and excitement with the attendees. It was an overall great time.
STEM Camp Edu plays a crucial role in the professional growth of attending teachers. It cultivates a growth mindset, encouraging educators to become better at their craft for the benefit of their students' learning experience. One of the events main coordinators Tom McGee said that the purpose of this event was “To look at the big picture of the whole child, and to design instruction that meets the kids at all levels especially emotionally. So that kids feel safe, they are invigorated, they are excited, and they foster a joy of learning in the process”. The growth of a student is directly correlated with the growth of a teacher. Teachers need to be educated on the best ways to reach students, and better equipped with the tools to do so. This will give students the best chance of achieving success in and outside of the classroom.
STEM Camp Edu was again a massive success; this was evident simply because of the enthusiasm of the attendees. The playful and interactive format was very well received by the teachers, who are usually in the role of an instructor, but got the chance at STEAM Camp to participate in the fun. There was an abundance of information, skills, tips, and tools, for teachers to utilize in their classrooms. This was the seventh year of STEM Camp at Fluxspace, the high number of returning participants, and the significant growth the event has seen over the past few years shows there is no signs of it slowing down. The camp’s impact is expected to be a source of ongoing valuable resources and development for years to come.