Programs for Schools
The Excalibur Solutions STEM Academy® offers a number of programs to help schools in their efforts to provide STEM education opportunities. We take the time to understand your needs so that the programs meet your students where they are. Further, we will work with you, as a partner, to customize our content to reinforce or augment the concepts you are teaching in other core classes.
After School Clubs
After-school clubs are a great way to get started. They allow you to target those students who are interested in STEM and want more than is offered in the regular school day. A 2013 study conducted by the Afterschool Alliance identified three specific benefits of after school STEM programs:
- Youth develop interest in STEM and STEM learning activities
- Youth develop capacities to productively engage in STEM learning activities
- Youth come to value the goals of STEM and STEM learning activities
Our after school clubs are typically structured to spend approximately 6-8 weeks on a specific theme or topic, and, if desired, we will work with your teachers to align the content with what students are covering in their other classes. Meetings can be held on campus or in a synchronous online format.
In School Field Trips
In-school field trips are intended primarily to generate interest in STEM or to augment instruction on a specific topic by showing practical applications students might experience in the world around them. In-school field trips may be either demonstrations or interactive activities, and they are ideal for promoting a new after-school club or upcoming summer camp.
Summer camps give students the opportunity to explore content similar to that used with after-school clubs but in more detail. Camps typically run for a week with each daily session lasting about 3 hours. If desired, sessions may be scheduled for both the morning and the afternoon with different content in each block so that students may attend for the full day. As with after-school clubs, summer camps may be held on-premises or using a synchronous online format.
If you want to incorporate opportunities similar to those offered through the after-school and summer camp programs as an integral part of your school’s academic structure, we will work with you to create an entire course to be taught collaboratively by our staff or yours. Our instructors can teach the content remotely, or we can train your teachers to teach it themselves. After a thorough professional development program, we continue to provide support and assistance via email and in scheduled follow-up sessions. Either way, we want to work with you and your staff as a partner. Together, we will create a program specifically tailored to engage, entertain, and educate your students.
If you simply want some guidance about how to start or grow a STEM program, we will analyze and evaluate your current environment and make recommendations for what we consider to be appropriate next steps. Our staff understands what constitutes quality interdisciplinary instruction; how to use formative and summative assessments effectively; and how to ensure modules and lessons align with local, state, and national standards. We make a point to stay on top of techniques, tools, and resources so that we are able to pick and choose those that are most appropriate for a given situation.
Professional development programs are designed to make teachers more comfortable with STEM content. The goal is to equip teachers to teach the same kinds of lessons we offer, but in other formats. We let the teachers experience the lessons as the students would, but then we spend time reflecting on and analyzing what students should be learning and what challenges might arise. With some basic skills in computer science and electrical engineering under their belts, your teachers will begin to see opportunities to make their units more authentic and interdisciplinary.