Learning is Full Steam Ahead: Free Summer Program for Pikes Peak Area Students
COLORADO SPRINGS — Learning is in full swing for students in the Pikes Peak area with a unique summer program. It’s about finding that spark that inspires every student through immersive learning and group activities.
Full STEAM Ahead takes place every summer at Colorado Springs School. The free two-week program is offered to approximately 50 students in grades 7, 8 and 9.
Small groups offer unique ways to explore technology, arts, science and learn about the community through themed excursions and experiences.
Full STEAM Ahead teaches students that school happens outside of the classroom.
“We really worked in a team environment, and it didn’t feel like school. It felt like we were deliberately learning different concepts,” said Gisselle Zamora, Peak Education intern and Full STEAM Ahead mentor this summer.
Building and programming robots, dance therapy, and dissecting sheep brains are just a few of the immersive activities middle schoolers engage in every summer.
“In traditional school, it’s very fast. And in this school, you build on yourself and people will see you grow,” said Gabriel Weber. “I was not very sociable before. But being in the program has really allowed me to grow in that aspect of myself. I was able to meet many new mentors and form many interesting relationships.
The Full STEAM Ahead program engages students in a special way.
“A lot of students associate learning with school only, and it’s hard for you to dive deep into your intellectual curiosity. But this program really helps you see it from different angles, like getting out into your community and working with other people. ‘other students,’ Zamora said.
The program brings together students from 12 schools through a partnership with cutting edge education. The free option hopes to fill gaps in educational opportunities for children from low-income backgrounds.
“They are going to dissect sheep brains. They return to the brain lab at Colorado College to view and hold human brains. Then at the level of innovation and discovery, which elevates grade eight, they build their own robots and program them,” said Amy Miller, program director for Full STEAM Ahead.
“They think well what is the problem that I have to solve, is it going to work, and if not, let me quickly adjust and do a better design. So it started with robotics. Then we added brain science and psychology,” said Anne Taylor, Peak Education Mentoring and Academic Success Coordinator.
Anne Taylor started this program in 2012 after being inspired by a similar program.
“I’ve been teaching for 28 years and in everything I’ve done in my career, I think that’s the most important thing. Partly because a program like this inspired me to become a teacher and dedicate my life to education,” Taylor said.
This immersive style of learning helps students find their spark.
“Seeing sparks fly from kids as they realize different concepts they never thought of before, diving deep into any topic, whether it’s the brain, robotics or design thinking. C It’s so rewarding to see that kind of influence flourish,” Miller said.
Some students have been so inspired by their time in the program that they return as high school mentors to help guide middle schoolers through it.
Small groups also help students build connections and relationships with students from across the community.
“For me, I’m not very sociable before. But being in the program has really allowed me to grow in that aspect of myself. I met a lot of new mentors and made a lot of great relationships,” Weber said.
Full STEAM Ahead helps students see how bright their future is.
“This program has really helped me develop my interest in business. So I really want to work with different businesses in Colorado Springs, for-profit and non-profit, and just develop connections with the Colorado Springs community,” Zamora said.
“I think this program has really allowed me to develop my interests and the things I really want to pursue and dental hygiene. It’s kind of like helping people because I make people smile,” Weber said. .