Area middle school students in the Promise Zone experience Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Athletics & Mathematics at unique week long camp.The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation launched Summer S.T.E.A.M., a new innovative pilot program in collaboration with the ExCITe Center at Drexel University. The day camp, held July 11-15, will offer transdisciplinary learning experiences to a group of middle school students in the Philadelphia Promise Zone, with the goal to engage, educate and inspire students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Athletics and Math, regardless of resources, in a wide range of formats.
The modules of Summer S.T.E.A.M. uniquely integrate science, math, and technology with areas of creative and performing arts and athletics including Music Technology (Acoustics and Sound Synthesis), Visual Arts (Geometry and Drawing/Painting), Game Design & Coding (Dance Algorithms, Creating Pixel Art), Athletics (Technology for Analyzing Performance) and Dance (Biology and Movement). Specifically, the Athletics module is a unique addition to S.T.E.A.M and will offer the students the opportunity to see how science and technology enhance sports and physical training.
Students will have the opportunity to develop individual inquiry-based projects and conduct a show-and-tell final presentation to Jenkins on Friday, July 15 on the last day of camp.
The mission of The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation is to effectuate positive change in the lives of youth, particularly those in underserved communities, by providing resources, innovative opportunities and experiences that will help them succeed in life and become contributing members of their communities. Summer S.T.E.A.M. is an extension of the unique educational programming currently being offered by The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, such as Project REWARDS, a life skills curriculum and The Malcolm Jenkins Scholars.
Eagles Pro-Bowler Safety Malcolm Jenkins was eager to launch the program. “Kids want to learn and be exposed to unique experiences and Summer S.T.E.A.M. allows them to re-imagine education by reshaping how and where learning occurs. By offering this program, we want to spark, nurture and inspire a lifelong interest in the STEM disciplines and show them how education can lead the way to new opportunities and success in life,” said Jenkins.
The participating middle school students are residents in the Philadelphia Promise Zone. The Promise Zone is a nearly two-square mile area in West Philadelphia, identified by the Obama Administration in 2014 as an urban area that lacks resources and faces challenges associated with persistent poverty. The Promise Zone initiative is a new effort to support the neighborhoods of Mantua and West Powelton, as well as Powelton Village and Belmont, which currently have a poverty rate of about 51 percent.
Summer S.T.E.A.M. was a natural fit for the ExCITe Center. Building off the success of the ExCITe Center’s Summer Music Technology program for high school students, Drexel University was pleased when The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation approached them with the idea to offer a new program for middle school age youth. According to Dr. Youngmoo Kim, Director of the ExCITe Center, “The goal of S.T.E.A.M. is to enhance learning by integrating experiences across a wide range of disciplines, from science and math to arts and athletics. We’re thrilled to partner with the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, highlighting the unique transdisciplinary nature of sports and athletics and extending our efforts to engage younger students.”
The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation plans to partner with Drexel University to offer Summer S.T.E.A.M. next summer following this year’s pilot program, with the goal to extend Summer S.T.E.A.M. to two weeks, thus providing up to 50 area middle school students with the opportunity.