This summer I was fortunate enough to participate in not one but two paid opportunities to learn. They were jobs where I was supposed to teach but to me ‘teach’ is just a fancy way of saying ‘learn’. I was blessed to be part of two camps at Texas A&M university this summer. The STEM camp organized by the Aggie STEM center and the SMaRT camp at the Department of Mathematics.
Both camps were great opportunities for the students to engage and learn. But more importantly they allowed the participating students to explore. Readers can find details about the camps and what went on in both camps online but here I wanted to share my experience within the context of both camps not just as an instructor and counselor but as a student as well. So, here are my takeaways neatly organized in a tabular form.
|Summer STEM Camp||SMaRT Camp|
|Name||Summer Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Camp||Summer Mathematics Research Training High School Camp|
|Focus of camp||Introduction to the objects, language, and people in STEM fields||Proof writing in mathematics|
|Mode of instruction||Guided and free exploration||Direct instruction, guided and individual practice|
|Learning outcomes||Familiarity with STEM objects and sense of ease about application of science and mathematics in real life||Familiarity and easiness with mathematical proof writing|
|Support structure||University faculty, instructors, licensed teachers, and camp counselors||University faculty, and grad/undergrad counselors|
Aamir is a Ph.D. student in the College of Education and Human Development