STEM Camp (PDF) is a summer enrichment program offered by WSU’s Rochester Education Department in partnership with Riverside Central Elementary School and Gage Elementary School (Rochester Public Schools).

STEM Camp began in 2010 under the direction of Dr. Maggie Hoody with 47 students and has since grown to serve between 150 – 200 students each summer.

STEM Camp is now directed by Dr. Bryan Matera in collaboration with teachers from Rochester Public Schools.

STEM Camp Courses

Courses are designed and facilitated by students in the online Rochester Elementary Education K - Grade 6 program, the Graduate Induction Program, as well as recent graduates of each program.

Every Riverside and Gage student gets to take two different classes based on their top five choices. There are many favorite classes that have been offered each year since 2010, such as Bubble-ology.

We've also worked to design and offer new classes for students. New classes include a solar energy themed course introduced in 2014 and Sphero and Lego Mindstorm classes in 2016.

The following courses were offered during STEM Camp in 2021:

  • Archaeology
  • Bee Bots
  • Bubble-ology
  • Build It!
  • Explorers
  • The Science of Sound
  • Bulbs & Batteries
  • Solar Power
  • Rocks
  • We Do LEGO
  • LEGO Mindstorm
  • Rube Goldberg Inventions
  • Snap Circuits
  • Sphero
  • Oobleck

STEM Camp Reflections

Following the STEM Camp experience, teacher candidates and GIP residents were asked to reflect upon the ways in which experiences that occurred during STEM Camp would inform their teaching practice in the fall (and beyond).

I will incorporate inquiry-based lessons into my lesson planning whenever possible to enhance student problem solving and genuine engagement with the content.

Because it is important to create learning experiences that are meaningful to children, it is important to understand the background of each student.

What I need to focus on is supporting them in their quest for the understanding of concepts. I also need to encourage them to use vocabulary that may be difficult and develop their own process for assimilating the new knowledge into what they already know.”