Leveling the Playing Field: Donation for STEAM Camp Programming

Children that attended programs across 7 different groups supported through the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition (GNSC) this past summer are starting their school year off with a renewed interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).

Camps were offered low cost or free of charge to children in the neighbourhood with an emphasis on supporting those who were identified by community partner agencies as being in need of care due to being either new to Canada, experiencing financial hardship and/or experiencing trauma.

The high cost associated with purchasing equipment such as microscopes and hiring additional camp staff for STEAM activities is a barrier to this type of hands-on programming being incorporated into camps that run on a tight budget. A donation of $31,000 by The Cowan Foundation was used to bring this type of programming to life.

“We have always seen the impact of incorporating STEAM activities into the programs that the Neighbourhood Groups offer, but the additional cost of doing so has been a barrier to advancing these types of programs,” explains Sarah Stubbs, GNSC Youth Engagement Coordinator. “The donation provided by The Cowan Foundation allowed us to hire support staff who helped to build deeper relationships with campers, increase confidence in STEAM for both staff and youth, and sparked interest in a number of cutting-edge fields. Being able to explore, learn how to use new materials, share hypotheses, and make mistakes – all in a safe and supportive environment, has been transformative for so many of these children”.

Click here to learn more about the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition which is made up of a network of neighbourhood groups, sponsoring agencies and program partners.