ARE YOU HOSTING THE CAMP FACE-TO-FACE OR ONLINE THIS YEAR?
We are hosting our camp virtually this year due to pandemic. We have been preparing to teach online and believe that our kids need normalcy and continue to learn in summer, bond and exposed to emerging STEM and Computer Science topics in a fun and safe setting together with their peers and a great team of UH faculty members, graduate/undergraduate students as mentors and coaches.
WHAT IS THE ITECH-STEM PROJECT?
The main purpose of Innovative Technology Challenges for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (iTECH-STEM) is to develop an innovative program promoting/teaching computer science (CS) and technology (T) topics that are popular and emerging with STEM focus. The iTECH-STEM involves following Domains:
- Digital Storytelling
- Programming and Coding
- Microbit Programming
- Game Design (New in 2021)
- STEM Art (Not taught in 2021)
- Robotics (Not taught in 2021)
- Virtual Reality (Not taught in 2021)
ITECH-STEM summer technology camps is a part of larger project called ITECH-STEM and includes a series of linked activities such as Summer Technology Camp, STEM Scouts, and year-around Challenges.
WHO IS ORGANIZING THIS CAMP AND WHAT ARE THE GRADE LEVELS?
ITECH-STEM is sponsored by UH STEM Center and Cougar Initiative To Engage (CITE) hosted at UH Sugar Land and directed by faculty at the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.
WHO IS THE SUMMER CAMP FOR AND WHAT ARE THE GRADE LEVELS?
We believe in young kids’ ability. They can learn knowledge and skills associated with STEM once they are properly guided and supported. We enroll elementary students entering grades 3 to 6 in the Fall semester in this camp.
IS THERE A RESEARCH ASPECT OF THIS PROJECT?
Yes, we look at students’ STEM attitudes and their willingness to follow a career in STEM fields. ITECH-STEM is applying to grant programs to support young kids. We also contribute to research in this area.
WHAT ARE THE DATES?
In 2021, the camp will run from July 12 – 17, 2021 virtually. The camp will be Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 12 pm with optional lab time available between 12 – 2 pm. The optional lab time is included in the fee. Students may choose to join this session.
WHAT ARE THE CLASSES AND TOPICS COVERED IN THE ITECH-STEM?
We focus on following ITECH-STEM Domains in this year’s summer camp:
- Game Design (New!)
- Microbit Programming
- 3D- Modeling & Printing
- Coding with Scratch
- Digital Storytelling/Video Production
The camp includes instruction on ITECH domains. Our philosophy is based on project-based learning and hands-on projects. Students complete daily tasks and work on interconnected/interdisciplinary projects.
WHAT IS SMALL GROUP INSTRUCTION?
Your child will be assigned to a small group of 5 -7 students supervised and instructed by a Mentor. Mentors will instruct and help each student individually with their daily tasks and projects during each class period.
WHO ARE MENTORS?
We have undergraduate or graduate students serving as “Instructional Assistant and Mentors” (IAMs) at the camp. These students major in education, computers, science and technology fields. IAMs are responsible for the instruction and supervision of the students. Mentors will also be in touch with the parents of the students. A high school volunteer may be assigned to your students’ group as a helper/aid to IAMs depending on the availability.
WHAT IS YOUR STUDENT TO TEACHER RATIO?
We are proud to have a 3:1 student to teacher ratio in our small groups allowing us to teach students 1-0n-1 during the majority of activities.
HOW MUCH IS THE CAMP FEE?
The camp fee is $350 per child. There are discounts for siblings, teachers and UH Employees. The camp fee includes all classes and other camp activities. In addition, we are able to provide partial and full scholarships towards registration fee this year for students with financial needs.
WHAT ARE DISCOUNTS?
Siblings can receive $50 off for each sibling. Teachers can receive $35 off for each child. UH Employees are eligible for $75 for each child. Discount may be combined. You need to send proof of documentation (ID or pay-stub with registration form) for Teacher and UH Employee discounts. You can find out how much you will need to pay when you complete your registration form at http://www.itechstem.org/register
WHAT IS SCHOLARSHIP AND WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Limited Scholarships are available for students with financial need. We understand that 2020 has been especially hard on some parents due to the pandemic. We provide up to $200 towards your registration fee as a partial scholarship and $350 towards your registration fee as a full scholarship. Parents need to provide the following documents when they apply for scholarships: Documentation showing participation in Free and Reduced Lunch at student’s school, income statement, and a short essay written by the student.
FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH PROGRAM: Student applicants should be current recipients of the Free and Reduced Lunch program at his/her school. (A document proving free and reduced lunch status will be needed. You may need to contact your school to receive a document if you don’t have it already. A screenshot of “free and reduced lunch” status on an official school lunch payment website may be acceptable documentation)
INCOME: If you have a low income as defined by Federal Poverty Guidelines (…), you may qualify for financial assistance. You will need to provide a document showing your income.
STUDENT ESSAY: Students who are applying for scholarships will need to write a 100 words of short essay explaining why they would like to join this camp, how they would benefit from the camp, their academic performance in school, and their experience and interest in camp topics.
A committee will review submitted documents and let you know if you qualify for a partial or full scholarship for the registration fee.
HOW CAN I PAY?
We accept payment using major credit/debit cards. There is no fee for paying with a credit/debit card. We are unable to accept checks or cash. Registration form will redirect you a separate payment website once the form is completed. Your seat/space in the camp won’t be complete until you make final payment by the registration deadline on July 5, 2021.
CAN MY CHILD PARTICIPATE ONLY A FEW DAYS?
While we strongly encourage students to attend a full week of activities, in some cases, we could allow only a few days of camp participation. The normal camp activities are scaffolded and build upon each other from day 1 to day 6. If you need to start the camp a day late or leave early, please talk to the camp director after you register.
HOW ARE CLASSES/SUBJECTS ARRANGED?
We implement our unique curriculum which builds upon interconnected and interdisciplinary projects throughout the camp. That’s why we offer all four classes (Digital Storytelling, 3D-Printing, Programming and Coding, Microbit Programming) as a package and can’t allow children to choose between the classes. Students will be taking these classes similar to a mini school schedule where they take some classes on certain days and times. Classes will alternate each day to keep students engaged. A full schedule will be available during the orientation day for parents and students.
WHAT MATERIALS DO I NEED FOR MY CHILD?
Student will need to have access to a desktop or laptop computer. We are unable to provide any computers to our campers. Additionally, students will need a reliable internet connection, microphone, and webcam to participate in the camp.
DO YOU PROVIDE ANY MATERIALS FOR CAMPERS?
Yes, we will provide Microbits programming circuits to each camper. In addition, we have plans to provide a camp t-shirt to each participant.
ARE THERE OTHER ACTIVITIES BESIDES CLASSES?
Yes, students will take recess between classes (10 min- 15 min) during the day. In our face-to-face camps, we used to go outside for fun activities such as playing summer games and do fun STEM activities such as “watermelon explosion” or “flying drones” but this year we will find other activities that can be completed virtually during break times.
DO YOU HAVE REWARDS?
We are unable to provide physical reward this year due to pandemic. However, we will provide certificates to students who complete their individual tasks regarding their projects at the award ceremony.
WHAT IS THE AWARD CEREMONY?
We will hold a Virtual Banquet this year. We will gather on the last day of the camp to recognize the success and achievements of our students. They will get certificates and awards and also showcase their completed work.
WHAT CAN STUDENT TAKE HOME THIS YEAR?
Students will be able to take their technology projects home as well as keep their Microbits for home use. We will try our best to print 3d models designed by students and to make them available for pickup at a later day.
WHAT ARE OTHER POLICIES?
Parents and Students will need to sign on “Consent to participate in camp”, “Student Online Code of Conduct & Acceptable Technology Use Policy”, “Work Permission”, “Liability Form”, and “Media Release” when they register.
IS THERE ANY ORIENTATION SESSION FOR PARENTS?
Yes, we will hold an orientation session for parents on July 9 prior to the camp starts. Parents will be notified of details of orientation session after they register.