NNPS STEAM Camps earns state recognition as Program that Works

Posted: November 7, 2023

Newport News Public Schools STEAM Camps, in collaboration with William & Mary, have been recognized as a 2023 "Program that Works" by the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition.

Recipients were honored at a Poster Session and Awards Luncheon Nov. 3 at the Reynolds Community College Workforce Development Conference Center in Richmond.

STEAM Camps are held during the summer at Hines Middle School and serve students in grades 3 through 12. They provide hands-on learning experiences in computer science, emerging technologies and engineering design.

Engineered to spark creativity, promote teamwork, and teach real-world problem-solving skills, the program pairs a robust curriculum with diverse mentorship opportunities. Participants include learners from elementary to high school, preservice teachers from William & Mary and NNPS high school interns following STEM career pathways.

"At the NNPS STEAM Center, we've created an educational ecosystem supported by more than 10 community partners, the commitment of preservice teachers from William & Mary, the expertise of STEM undergraduates, and the contributions of NNPS high school career pathway interns," said Tami Byron, NNPS STEM instructional supervisor.

Byron acknowledged the valuable contributions of W&M School of Education faculty members Dr. Lindy Johnson, associate professor and chair of curriculum & instruction, and Dr. Meredith Kier, Gerdelman Family Term Distinguished Associate Professor. She extended special recognition to NNPS STEM specialists Jennifer Barker and Kevin Nelhuebel for their exceptional curriculum development.

"This ecosystem fosters potential school leaders and offers a rich diversity of learning opportunities," Byron said. "Our camps, which ignite the learning experiences at the STEAM Center, welcome NNPS students from third through twelfth grade. Students focus on solving real-world problems that integrate STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics - alongside computer science and engineering design principles."