STEM vs. STEAM
You may know that STEM stands for "Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math." STEAM adds a vital component to the mix: Art. Our own experiences in the word of technology and engineering have taught us that art can give us new ways to see STEM problems and can lead our students to appreciate and gain inspiration from a rigorous STEM curriculum.
Adding the A to STEM is really more a matter of acknowledging the power and pervasiveness of art. STEM lessons naturally involve art: new technologies get rolled into product design; Video game design requires both computer code and digital art assets; HTML and CSS must work closely with the aesthetic requirements for the website or mobile app being created; etc.). STEM projects do not deliberately exclude the arts or any other subject; rather, these subjects are included incidentally as needed for engineering challenges. At StEAM Camp, we're just acknowledging the A and making STEM education a bit less antispetic.
What is The Guild Hall?
The Guild Hall is Savannah's premier creative community. Founded by a group of technologists and engineers who moved to Savannah from Silicon Valley, The Guild Hall is an entire downtown campus, with five buildings and a community of more than 600 members. The campus features multiple PC labs, a digital design lab, an electronics lab, a 3D printer lab, half a dozen classrooms, a sound studio, an outdoor stage, and more video games and board games than anywhere else in Savannah.
The Guild Hall is a new kind of "thirdpsace" where creative geniuses and mad scientists can get together to collaborate, play games, work on projects, or just soak up the high technology vibe. The Guild Hall also hosts tech and startup competitions, like Global Game Jam, the TAG Hackathon, Geekend, ATDC's startup workshops, and more. Several Savannah-based startups got their start at The Guild Hall, including Quickit, The Chromatic Dragon, Bark, 8-Bit Donuts, and others. In other words, The Guild Hall is Savannah's number one destination for technologists, engineers, and artists.
Are the different classes identical? Does my camper have to take I to before taking II?
Classes with the same name and number will cover the same itinerary. But different numbered classes - say, Video Game I and II, for example - will cover different material and possibly use different tools. Because each class his designed as a stand-alone two-week course, it is not necessary to take the previous class (like Minecraft I) to take the class with a higher number (like Minecraft III). Nor is it necessary to take them in order, but it might be more fun that way.
Is Lunch Included?
No, but we do offer lunch from our restaurant, The Chromatic Dragon, for an extra fee of $100 per session (only $50 for either of the Freeplay Gaming Weeks before and after camp). The restaurant has several kid-friendly options on its regular menu and will also be offering some healthier fare exclusively for STEAM Camp, so campers will also be free to grab lunch at The Dragon on days when parents don't feel like sending lunch with them.
Are there any age restrictions or recommendations for certain classes?
Yes. The video game and robotics classes are most appropriate for middle school campers (rising 6th-9th graders), although we will accept younger campers who have sufficient maturity, experience and/or ability (indeed, one of the best video games designed during the summer of 2016 was created by a 10 year-old). The Minecraft Camps are designed for younger campers (rising 4th and 5th graders), but might also be a good fit for early middle schoolers who are really into Minecraft.
What is a Freeplay Gaming Week?
It is a one-week session where campers can enjoy exclusive access to gaming at The Guild Hall, which has dozens of PC and console video game systems, as well as over 100 board games. We wanted to give campers a chance to blow off some steam during the week between the end of school and the start of camp, and also the week between the end of camp and the start of school. We don't claim that it will be educaitonal, but it will be a lot of adult-supervised fun!