STEM Summer Institute for middle schoolers coming to a device near you
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
The Summer Stem Institute will be offered online this year by USD 383 and the Kansas State University College of Education.
MANHATTAN — Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 and the Kansas State University College of Education will proceed with the 10th Summer STEM Institute as scheduled. Courses will be delivered online.
The institute will retain the planned hours and dates of 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday, June 1-25. Students — including those not attending the Manhattan-Ogden district — who will be in the sixth through ninth grades in fall 2020 can enroll in the program at usd383.org/community/summer-learning.
"This event simply could have been canceled due to the circumstances and no one would have thought twice about it," said Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education. "But that's not what happened. Lori Goodson, the faculty coordinator for this event — along with her colleagues and teachers and administrators with the district — jumped into action and figured out how to offer this complex program online. It is the latest in a long line of examples of how teachers are supporting students and parents through this crisis."
The cost is $100 for all four weeks, with a sliding scale for USD 383 students who qualify for free or reduced lunches. The school district will provide iPads and supplies to each student and classes will also make use of common household items as much as possible. Out-of-district students will need to provide their own devices and supplies. A supply list will be posted on the enrollment website.
Paula Hough, executive director of teaching and learning with Manhattan-Ogden USD 383, said the institute is one of the most popular programs offered by the district.
"Since the day I joined USD 383, I've heard about the Summer STEM Institute because the students and teachers looked forward to it," Hough said. "It was hard to wrap my head around the idea we may not have it this year — the 10thanniversary. I am so proud of this team — USD 383, the College of Ed and Manhattan Area Technical College — and the virtual programming we are able to provide to students this summer."
The STEM Institute began in 2011 and has grown to provide 30-plus topics for approximately 325 middle schoolers each summer. This online version means it's more accessible than ever before for students from rural schools and surrounding areas. Information about past years are available on the college’s website at coe.k-state.edu/stem-institute/index.html.
While different from previous Summer STEM Institutes, this year's institute will provide hands-on, engaging learning opportunities for the students. Additionally, College of Education pre-service teachers will gain valuable online teaching experience as they assist USD 383 teachers in leading the classes.
Todd Goodson, professor and chair of the department of curriculum and instruction, believes an important lesson is embedded into this event.
"Moving the institute online was only possible because a group of committed educators refused to let it be sidelined," Goodson said. "This is most likely the most important summer program we've ever offered, and it reinforces what we're modeling: schools — especially teachers — are the bedrock of their communities."