July STEM Educator of the Month Seth Summers embraces getting out of the classroom
Not all teachers stick to the traditional school calendar. In fact, our July STEM Educator of the Month prefers to encourage learning all year long.
Seth Summers likes getting to students at an early age, and continuing to teach them all year-round.
He feels the best time to introduce children to STEM topics is when they’re young, and keeping those efforts up all year gives them a better chance of retaining what they’ve learned.
"Between three and five, that's when there's a high risk for students to get in trouble, so we'd rather them be with us,” Summers says.
That's where the Kaleidoscope Program comes in. It's an after-school program for the Charleston County School District.
Kaleidoscope continues through the summer while school is out, and Summers has found it to be a great opportunity to enhance STEM education.
“We want to find ways to educate them outside of the classroom," Summers says. "I think when you take it out of the classroom, you do it in the summer, you do it after school and on weekends, then they associate it with recreation. Things they are just doing to have a good time and they don't even realize they're learning."
And Summers says kids want to participate in it. He even tells a story of one child facing disciplinary action whose greatest worry was she may lose Kaleidoscope privileges.
“She said, ‘Will you please talk to them and not let them suspend me, I want to come to Kaleidoscope,’ which just makes my heart melt to hear,” Summers says. “If there's anything that makes them stay in school and learn on a daily basis, I'd say that's one of my biggest success stories."