Parents and caregivers: Before you register your child for the same ho-hum summer camps, how about sending them off to learn TinkerCAD, woodworking, or even welding?
Building Momentum, a veteran-owned small business located in Alexandria that holds military-, corporate-, and business-focused programs, has just announced a whole new set of opportunities designed just for middle- and high-school students. Its latest venture, Innovation Academy, features a series of classes geared toward STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts, and mathematics).
“The classes were born with the intention to provide area students with hands-on learning experiences not always touched on in a traditional school setting,” says Cecily Wynne, education associate. “Sessions are geared specifically for kids and teach a variety of science and tech-based skills such as welding, coding, circuit-making, and many other engineering methods, all within a safe, socially-distant environment.”
Held at the group’s events and makerspace The Garden, spring sessions in welding and electricity for middle school and high school-aged students started in March and continue through June 16. Summer sessions, planned for middle schools and offered from July 5 to August 27, focus on welding, with five-day programs for building your own gravity go-kart. Activities during the week include MIG welding, the engineering design loop, teamwork, constructive criticism, and building in a five-day week. Each session costs $475/person including a $50 non-refundable registration fee, and wraps up with a design presentation and race between the gravity kart teams. Scholarships are available for all sessions and can be applied for on the camp website, and the organization also offers a 10 percent military and family discount. Until pandemic-related guidelines in Virginia change, classes have a maximum capacity of nine students, and masks and social distancing measures will be required.
Wynne says the classes empower kids to safely and correctly use “grown-up” tools like MIG welders, wood-cutters, and metalworking materials. The tasks stretch their imagination, allowing them to engage in hands-on building while improving their problem solving and communication, and giving them lifelong skills that can be transferred to any area of their lives.
“These camps enable kids to try, fail, and try again using the same problem solving skills that Building Momentum uses to train soldiers and corporate executives,” she says. “This is not a camp for kids who sit on the sidelines, [but for kids] who want to learn how to help solve the problems of tomorrow!”
For more information and registration, head to their website.
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