Texas Instruments launched a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) summer program at the C.E. Williams Middle School for Creative and Scientific Arts in Charleston, South Carolina. The program runs until September, and it aims to keep students’ minds sharp over the summer break and ready for the coming school year.
Summer learning loss, also known as the “summer slide,” affects students over the break by making them lose what they have learned over the past school year. As a result, teachers take more time reviewing in their classes for the students to re-learn the topics.
A study showed that on average, students lose two months of reading skills over the summer. Not only is the students’ mental ability affected but also physical capacity. Therefore, parents are also encouraged to help their children enhance their minds while they are on a break from school.
From 2008 to 2012, students lost 25 to 30 percent of their learning during the break. Their achievements scores also declined by one month’s worth of school-year learning.
TI’s summer program focuses on middle school and high school students. The facilitators, known as the STEM squad, will visit schools in the US over the summer and offer project-based activities to give students an overview of STEM concepts and how they are relevant in the real world.
Texas Instruments put together activities such as coding and learning the basics of engineering design. Students could also participate in experiments such as robotics and programming specific technology.
TI’s president Peter Balyta emphasized the importance of learning even when students take a break from the school setting. He said that summer is the ideal time to learn about science, math, and basic engineering without thinking of grades. He added that the activities are made to be enjoyable to keep the students engaged in learning about the STEM program.