School hallways will have at least a few weeks to rest as Johnson City Schools wrapped up their summer learning camps on Tuesday, June 28. More than 960 students in grades 1-8 participated in camps at the eight elementary schools and two middle schools. An additional 220 high school students spent the month of June at Science Hill earning credit while several hundred additional credits were earned in online courses taught during June by Science Hill teachers.
“We are very pleased with the turnout for June’s summer learning programs across all grade levels,” Johnson City Schools Director of Accountability and Improvement Robbie Anderson said. “I noticed a lot of smiles at each site I visited, and it was obvious our students were having fun as they engaged in rigorous and relevant learning activities. I hope our students, as well as all of our summer teaching staff, will spend the month of July enjoying their families and getting ready for the new school year.”
The four-week camps were approved by the Tennessee Department of Education and the state allowed Johnson City Schools to receive a waiver to shorten the state-mandated six-week program to just four weeks. Programs at Science Hill were funded through district ESSER funds to support additional instructional time for students to earn credits.
“Each week of summer school, students were presented with a real-world situation that might occur in a STEM career,” said Nancy Miles, a South Side Elementary teacher who also served as an assistant principal for the program over the summer. “The tasks provided students with a chance to demonstrate their understanding of content and processes as they problem-solved, designed, and engineered a possible solution to each scenario presented.”
Students collaborated to share ideas, and then designed, built, and tested their solutions. Observation of the test results often led to redesign and retesting with improvement to the solution as the goal. Real-world STREAM situations included designing a package that, when shipped, would protect fragile contents, providing a solution for cleaning up an oil spill, building a hand pollinator to pollinate various-shaped flowers, and designing and building a windmill to generate wind power.
On the final day of camp, students at Towne Acres participated in a STREAM Day. While they had plenty of hands-on activities throughout camp, this provided them with a little extra time to take on other projects. For instance, students were able to build self-watering terrariums.
Towne Acres rising 4th-grader Hudson Worley said she had a great time at school during the month of June.
“It’s been fun,” Worley said through a wide smile. “I liked the hands-on projects that we got to do. It’s a little more laid back, and we’ve gotten to build a lot of things like airplanes and windmills. It’s just been a lot of fun.”
Johnson City Schools will begin the 2022-2023 school year on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.