It was no ordinary birthday for rising fifth-grader Cameron, who celebrated turning eleven years old with a birthday song serenade from a group of teachers, students and Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan during Camp Adventure at HISD’s Atherton Elementary School.
Cameron, along with hundreds of other students from around the district, is spending his summer break immersed in a flurry of STEAM activities at the camp, which is sponsored by The Children’s Museum of Houston and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.
“I love Camp Adventure because we get to do a lot of fun science activities,” Cameron said. “We’ve already made a balloon rocket, a glider and guacamole.”
Just a few classrooms down from Cameron’s cabin, a group of rising kindergartners donned blue rubber gloves in preparation for “fossil” dig. During the camp, more than 400 HISD students will participate in a variety of interactive STEM activities created by a team of educators from the Children’s Museum of Houston. The camp also features drama classes from Theater Under the Stars, music classes from the Houston Symphony and cooking classes by the Houston Food Bank. Every lesson embeds reading and is led by a certified teacher.
Created five years ago, the back-to-back three-week-long camp offers this unique STEAM experience to underserved students in Houston’s Fifth Ward and Sunnyside communities. As the summer program continues grow, the hope is that it will expand throughout the district.
At the end of his birthday song, Cameron told Lathan that he would recommend Camp Adventure to ten of his friends and he thinks it should be offered at more schools next year.
“Yes, thank you Cameron, thank you,” Lathan said. “Your friends across Houston will thank you when they have the opportunity to participate in Camp Adventure next year.”