SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Summer is fast approaching and parents looking to fill the long school break may want to check out the Spotswood School District's second annual STEAM Camp this August. The camp will be held for two weeks from August 14 through August 25 and is ideal for kids that are interested in science, technology, engineering, mathematics as well as art and design. Participants can attend either one or both weeks. The cost of the camp is $250 for one week or $500 for both. Sessions are limited and will be filled on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The camp is open to all students that are entering grades second through eighth in September. Camp hours are from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. After care is available from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. for an additional fee. Lunch is not included. Campers must bring their own lunch as well as a snack.

STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design and Mathematics. It is part of a nationwide endeavor to narrow the skills gap present in American businesses and industries. Throughout camp, students will be participating in pertinent hands-on activities and engineering challenges that also incorporate teamwork and collaborative thinking.

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Students will explore video and animation techniques as well as learn the basics of robotics and electronics. They will also get an opportunity to examine programming and game development. Some planned activities include making ice cream, constructing and launching water rockets as well as a brushbot tournament. Students will also work in grade-level teams to problem-solve and complete a daily challenge.

Camp instructors will include staff members from Spotswood High School. Gary Hull, Martin Dempsey, Andrew Zaborney and Paige Besthoff will be the lead instructors this summer.

Hull is a Computer Science teacher. He has worked in the Spotswood School District since 2003 and is the former president of the Central Jersey Computer Science Teachers Association. Dempsey has been teaching Earth Science and Physics at Spotswood High School since 1996. He is currently the district's Science Department Chair and co-founded the high school's Heavy Metal Robotics competition team. Zaborney has been the Video and Film instructor at the high school since 2005. He is the teacher behind the SPSN TV Network that airs on YouTube and local cable access Channel 43. Besthoff has been teaching computers and business in the Spotswood School District since 2005. Currently, she teaches computers and technology at the Appleby School. Bestoff has been named a PBS Digital Innovator and is also a member of the PBS Teacher's Advisory Group.

Applications can be downloaded from the Spotswood School District website. The completed application along with payment should be mailed to Spotswood High School STEAM Camp, 105 Summerhill Road, Spotswood, NJ, 08884. Payment should be in the form of a check or money order. Checks should be made payable to the Spotswood BOE.

The STEAM Camp will be cancelled if the minimum number of participants is not reached. In the event of cancellation, tuition will be refunded.

For more information on the August STEAM Camp, email Gary Hull at ghull@spsd.us, Martin Dempsey at mdempsey@spsd.us, Andrew Zaborney at azaborney@spsd.us or Paige Besthoff at pbesthoff@spsd.us.