Grace Place students kept their mental gears turning this summer at the Grace Place Summer STEM Camp.  The students and teachers worked hard to beat what has come to be known as “the summer slump,” an unfortunate effect of those long summer months away from a classroom.  The results are in, and though not all the academic hurdles the students made this summer can be measured, we do have some impressive results to share:

  • 1st graders learned an average of 73 new sight words
  • 2nd graders gained 4 percentage points from pre- to post- math tests
  • 3rd graders gained 17 percentage points from pre- to post- reading tests
  • 60% of the 4th and 5th grade class was able to memorize The 12 Times Table
  • 4th and 5th graders increased scores by 40 percentage points from pre- to post-tests to demonstrate fluency with word problems that require multi-step calculations to solve

In addition to classroom learning, students in 1st – 5th grade participated in a music and drama program…

Students read the stories of “Little Red Hen” and “Pied Piper of Hamelin” and then turned them into musical productions.  The older students took it a step further by discussing various occupations of late middle ages and created their own “jobs” and characters for the Pied Piper.

Literature, social studies, and math skills were infused with the curriculum of music and drama through nursery rhymes, fairy tales and additional stories. Character development was an integral part of the program with the morals portrayed through “The Little Red Hen” and “The Pied Piper”. Character development was also incorporated in the songs from the Peace Curriculum as well as “We are the World”.

Social skills were also an integral part of the entire program as children improved listening skills, sharing, kindness, manners, and taking turns. Discussions on bullying were included as the version of the Pied Piper used incorporated lessons from consequences of bullying and not working together.

Continuing with the Summer Camp STEM theme, Middle School students completed 6 weeks of specialized courses including Marine and Agricultural Science courses where they learned about the intricate workings of some of our world’s mysterious plants and animals.  In their “It’s My Business” Junior Achievement course students had to create a product and develop a marketing strategy to successfully advertise and sell that product.  They designed and produced the content and layout for a student newspaper they dubbed The Grace Place Gazette in their Digital Journalism course.  In their NASA Space course students learned about our diverse solar system, its unique planets and the visionary vessels that navigate vast outer space.  They created their very own robot cars – following the direction of a very challenging model handbook – in a Robotics course. The program also included field trips that bridged classwork with the outside world, making it tangible and memorable for the students!

Although the summer brought many fun adventures in learning, the important thing is these students headed back to school this week with a larger bank of knowledge to start the school year prepared and ready for success and continued learning!