CU Science Discovery aims to excite kids (and their families) about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields by engaging them in fun hands-on experiences. We run camps for kids in grades K-12 throughout the summer, as well as in-school and out-of-school programs during the school year. They connect their programs to topics that kids are interested in, so that they can draw connections and see how science is connected to other areas and how it is relevant in their daily lives. For example, they might learn about the science and chemistry of cooking in Science Chefs, learn about neuroscience in Zombie Survival Camp, or explore science in the world of Harry Potter (Muggle Magic). The programs are designed to help increase participants’ awareness about different STEM fields and careers, in part to help develop our future STEM workforce but perhaps more importantly, to diversify the future STEM workforce by making STEM more accessible and engaging for all students. They design programs to help encourage more girls to explore some of the STEM fields in which women are largely underrepresented (e.g., computer science, technology, engineering, physics, etc.). The robot painting activity, for example, helps to develop coding skills in a non-intimidating way, by combining robotics with art in a fun, creative (and messy!) way. Participating in summer learning activities – either in camps or informal activities at home – helps to minimize ‘summer slide,’ the loss of academic skills (particularly in reading and math) that frequently happens over the summer when kids are out of school for 2+ months.AlertMe
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