August 16, 2017
For the third summer, our educators at the Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center are hosting a group of rising 3rd through 5th grade students for BEE SMART, a camp that uses hands-on STEM activities as a vehicle to excite students about learning, increase participants’ reading levels, and ultimately prevent summer learning loss–closing the achievement gap for students living in the low-income communities of Brooklyn, Curtis Bay, Cherry Hill, Westport, Lakeland, and Mount Winans.
Reading specialists work in small group reading instruction and coaching sessions that coincide with a variety of activities at the urban nature center as well as aboard our historic education vessels, and surrounding neighborhoods. Each week has a theme such as Engineering, where students build underwater robots, buoys, and toys for our Bay Buddies program. Other themes include, Plants & Animals Week where the students performed a BioBlitz to study the insect population and conducted a mock oil spill to determine the best way to clean it up, and Environmental Scientist Week where the students tested air quality, runoff pollution, and marine debris. The students document their lessons each day in a journal and perform presentations of learning each week to review what they’ve learned.
At the end of the program, parents will be invited for an end-of-summer celebration where students will share their work and educators will work with parents on tools to foster continued interest in reading and literacy in their children.