Albemarle Co. day camp finds ways to teach STEAM during COVID-19

Albemarle Co. day camp finds ways to teach STEAM during COVID-19
Safety goggles (FILE) (Source: wvir)

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Small businesses are now starting to see some of the money from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). But the money is not a complete problem solver, as one Albemarle County day camp tries to figure out how to move forward.

The STEAM Discovery Academy normally has plenty of educators and campers to focus on science technology engineering art and math, but this year it may look different by its start date on June 8, despite funds from the federal government.

Executive Director Liesl Bruscia says she and her husband, who both run the camp, were able to get some money from the PPP loan. They still may need to make changes to the camp, though: The STEAM Discovery camp may need to happen remotely, in the same way schools have.

“We’ll have live educators with them four times a day to present the challenges, to talk about the science and really interact and create this amazing camp experience from the comfort of their home,” Bruscia said.

One solution: camp in a box. That box would have materials like toys, hot glue guns, and safety goggles to help kids work on science and art at home without necessarily needing direct supervision from parents.

“There can be a burden on families when students are home and trying to learn, so we’re trying to aim these to be as hands off as possible,” Bruscia said. “Now, age will always factor in, but to give students the opportunity to really have a hands-on STEAM experience with guidance from us, and not just building a toy or creating something, but understanding the materials and the concepts that go around that."

While learning and creating are the main goals of the camp, Bruscia says the number-one priority is still safety in the time of coronavirus. Further details about the camp’s schedule can be found here.

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