As we wrap up the summer and prepare for the start of the school year, we enjoyed looking back over a successful and fun break with kids of all ages. CMoA launched Tech Tales: Storytime for Young Explorers in 2020 during the height of the pandemic. For the safety of all, everyone wore masks, socially distanced, and activities were pen and paper driven. Attendees had a good time, despite the less-than-ideal conditions.
This year, however, we took it up a notch. Activities following the stories were truly hands-on. Children raced the rockets they built, devised their own math facts device, engineered the coolest Mars Rovers ever, and more. Accompanying the children were parents, grandparents, and caretakers who enjoyed watching their kids engaged, learning, and having fun!
This year we also welcomed daycare groups who could schedule visits to the museum that fit their schedule and enjoy a special Tech Tales session just for them. Leading the charge was our Visitor Services Manager. Thanks to a grant from Roswell Woman’s Club, supplies were purchased, and we were able to add many more books and activities to the children’s library.
We also hosted our first, Full STEAM Ahead! Summer Camp for middle school students. What a blast! Literally. Campers programmed, built weight baring towers and bridges, assembled and launched rockets, and much more.
What made our STEAM camp different from others? We were easily able to bring in historical elements supporting each day’s material. For example, after programming an animation, the campers participated in an IBM punched card machine demonstration. They discussed and came to understand how lines of code were entered back in the day versus what they just input into their laptops that morning. On another day, Lonnie Mimms, CMoA Founder, brought out a DSKY and Apollo Guidance Computer, artifacts that will be added to the Tribute to the Apollo 11 Exhibit in 2022. Campers were able to learn how these technologies helped the Apollo missions. Our kids were also given a lesson on the history, purpose, and creation of slide rules by Micah Walsh, CMoA Collections Specialist. They were stunned to learn that slide rules were so regularly used from classrooms to space exploration.
One camper’s parent said, “Can’t wait to hear about camp options next year and any classes in the interim!” Challenge accepted.
CMoA is grateful for the generous support of Fulton County Board of Commissioners and STREM HQ. Their support added materials and expertise to the week’s adventures.