In the summer of 2021, amidst the COVID–19 pandemic, the York Catholic District School Board was looking for a way to provide a safe, engaging camp option for youth in the community.
What better way to engage kids than to invite them to dive into something they’re passionate about?
The SPLICE Project Summer Program, an extension of the SPLICE Project initiative launched at St. Jerome CES, was a virtual summer camp experience that would allow students to engage in a self–directed, inquiry- based project of their choosing, with the mentorship of educators and community organizations.
In the spirit of innovation, one of the goals of the program was to inspire and instruct students on emerging tools and technologies that they could use to bring their projects to life, many of which are not currently taught in classrooms. As a key partner in past SPLICE initiatives, we stepped in to support teachers and students alike.
During the SPLICE Project Summer Program, STEM Minds provided workshops in 3D design and video game design for these creative and motivated students.
We also granted access to STEAM Hub, our online learning platform, to all participating students. This supported students in further exploring these topics at their own pace, improving their STEM confidence, exposing them to careers in the growing sector of STEM, and ultimately providing inspiration for their projects!
Beyond that, STEAM Hub also supported the lead teachers in the program. Though coding has been recently introduced into the Ontario curriculum, many teachers have not received any formal training to bring it into their classrooms, let alone any other STEM topics. We have always been committed to supporting teachers and helping them provide their students with the best STEM experiences possible, whether it’s through STEAM Hub or through our professional–development workshops and resources.
We have been proud to have been a part of the SPLICE Project over the years. We are very excited that the York Catholic District School Board has expanded access to the SPLICE Project program across many of their elementary schools (sometimes operating under a different name) so that more students get to immerse themselves in these amazing learning experiences.
We continue to be a key partner in supporting schools in getting these kinds of projects started, and look forward to exploring how this innovative form of learning evolves over the coming years.
I would recommend and use STEAM Hub again in future classrooms. It taught me about coding, which allowed me to further support my students.
Students were able to explore interests that they would not have an opportunity to explore without STEAM Hub.