Yaphank’s STEM Center, Camp Sobaco Transform Kids’ Lives

Yaphank’s STEM Center, Camp Sobaco Transform Kids’ Lives

Young minds are seeing all the possibilities their futures can hold through education, discovery, and fun at Yaphank’s colorful and creativity-inspiring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Center.

The STEM center offers a variety of exciting options for visiting school districts, girl scouts, and local youth agencies year-round.

“We run a variety of programs by level, and divided up by grade,” says Sarah Moffatt, Director of Programs and Camping Services.

These programs include Head in the Clouds, which teaches children the important role clouds play in our environment. Children learn how to analyze weather reports and to identify clouds using a weather window tool. They also have the opportunity to witness live demos involving lightning formation and the water cycle, and experiment with making a cloud in a jar.

Nature’s Palette has students exploring Camp Sobaco’s beautiful grounds, while photographing and collecting foliage of interest. The children then get to observe the
flora through magnifying glasses and microscopes. Additionally, they are introduced to the artwork and the technique of a famous artist inspired by nature. Afterwards, they return to the outdoors to create art that includes their collected specimens.

Another popular program, Bullseye, educates students about the historical significance and evolution of the bow and arrow, and how it relates to pulleys, pendulums and energy. Children have the opportunity to head over to the archery range for a lesson by a certified instructor, as well as time to practice their newly learned skills. “Archery is a big draw,” says Moffatt. “It’s just something you don’t see everyday.”

The STEM center is for boys and girls, but their outreach has been geared toward girls. “The STEM center was created as a place where girls could explore,” says Christine Terzella, Director of Public Relations. Data collected from the Girl Scout Research Institute found that only 20% of females hold Bachelor degrees in STEM-related fields, and represent just 25% of those in STEM related careers. The good news is that between 2015 and early 2016 the numbers are sure to increase. “There were 1,600 girls last year in the program,” says Terzella.

Terzella mentions how STEM opens children’s eyes to all the different opportunities available. There are many careers and STEM helps to bring awareness to these young minds. “STEM is part of so many different things. You can apply it to many different fields,” says Terzella.

Alongside the STEM Center, there are also various summer camp options that go from June 27 to September 2, 2016.

The first camp, Camp Sobaco, is for both girls and boys entering the first through the sixth grade, and features the Discovery World STEM Center, which includes STEM related field trips each week. “It’s reasonably priced. It’s such a great value. The price includes lunch, a STEM related field trip once a week, STEM activities, and then what the other camps have—hiking, swimming, games,” says Moffatt.

The second camp is Camp Edey-Journey to Adventure for girls entering the first through the sixth grade. Camp Edey also offers the half-day Pixie Day program for girls ages three through five.

In addition to the two camps, there’s also Teen-Ventures, part of both Camp Sobaco and Camp Edey, which offers specially designed activities for girls  entering grades seven through nine.

You can begin registering for all of the fun camp options today, as well as find out more information about Camp Sobaco’s STEM Center by going to gssc.us. Girl Scouts of Suffolk County’s Camp Sobaco is located at 229 German Boulevard, Yaphank.

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