As part of a new redesign of its summer programs, the Boys and Girls Clubs help prevent summer slide with STEM activities. Summer slide is the phenomenon also known as summer brain drain, in which students lose ground over the summer in academics.
Some of the STEM activities the kids participated in are just plain summer fun. Students had a great time dipping a hula hoop in soapy water and creating giant bubbles, microwaving soap bars as the soap turns into foam, and lifting ice cubes with a thin string (Hint – use salt to melt the ice so the string could grasp it.)
“In previous years, it’s been about places for kids to go, keep them safe and play games,” said Linda Wojtowicz, chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson. “This year, we’ve decided to take advantage of the fact that those kids are in the club, and re-energize the programs to keep their brains working.”
During the summer, children can lose about two months worth of math skills, according to the National Summer Learning Association. The impact is disproportionately higher among students in lower income families.