FORT WAYNE, Ind. (FOX 55) - It's June and class is over for the year at Perry Hill School, but parents are still dropping off their kids. They're not there for normal classes though, they're there to help improve their STEM skills.
"There's been a real push for stem because it's everything together, science, technology, engineering, and math. We're finding more and more that these skills are needed as they're growing up and this is the perfect time to get them interested," said Laren Molinari, the director of the Camp Invention STEM Camp taking place at Perry Hill June 11-15.
These STEM skills are recognized by the Indiana Department of Education as being essential. They want schools to become STEM certified so students can "gain the knowledge and skills necessary for success in college and careers," essentially, prepare students for the real world.
Ann Kline, who's granddaughter is attending the camp put on by camp invention, believes the real world is help driving the popularity for summer STEM programs.
Kline said "In the parents mind, yeah [job demand is dictating the desire for STEM camps], but not the kids. They just have fun. She was really excited to come. She came last year and really enjoyed it and wanted to come again."
Inside the classrooms here at Perry Hill Elementary, students are thinking and tinkering with technology both old and new the entire week. It's just one of many STEM camps in the area to help prepare students for the future.
The campers and leaders still get to have fun and play games, but even if the future is a while away for some, the camp is meeting the desire the parents have now.
The reason why STEM camps are attractive to parents, according to Molinari, is because "they see that it's challenging their mind, but we still give them a camp feel. I try really hard to do that. A lot of these students learn to work through frustration, which when you think about standardized testing, when you think about everything they're going to come to in life, they need to know how to work through frustration and keep going."
Below are two links you can use to try and find a STEM camp near you this summer