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Summer STEAM courses available at Fox Valley Career Center in Maple Park

Firefighting, teaching, screen printing and more to be taught this summer

MAPLE PARK – Students who want to get hands-on experiences ranging from creating with new technologies to working with children to being a firefighter will have that chance this summer.

That’s because STEAM Summer Camp will be offering classes June 6 to 8 at the Fox Valley Career Center. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Classes vary from one day to three days. Classes vary in cost between $10 to $30.

The site has two address locations – 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park, and 1N137 Meredith Road, Maple Park.

“It’s being run with Fox Valley instructors at our facility,” said Dr. Rick Burchell, director of Fox Valley Career Center. “It was something we wanted to do as an outreach. And we give students an opportunity to explore some of the areas that they may not get a chance to at their own home school.”

Classes are designed for students in eight to 10th grade. Burchell confirmed that students in 11th grade or middle school students are welcome.

Available classes cover a range of topics: Soldering, Arduino, VR Experience, Teaching Young Children/Early Childhood Experience, Illustrator and Screen Printing, and Junior Firefighter Academy.

Gary Baum, fire science instructor at Fox Valley Career Center, will be teaching the firefighter academy course.

Students will learn how science, technology, engineering and math is applied to the firefighting field.

“We’re going to let the students do some firehose evolutions,” Baum said, referring to students operating the nozzle of a firehose. “So, we will have them go out. They’ll be able to put their hands on an actual firehose. And as they’re squirting water, we’ll be able to explain Newton’s laws in physics.”

Students will also get to try on a firefighter’s gear.

“Every little kid growing up wants to be a firefighter,” Baum said. “… We just want them to explore what it’s really like.”

Burchell explained what to expect for the other courses, such as soldering.

He noted that students will work with a small circuit board where they will connect wires. They will be able to make something like a pen light up.

Students will be able to do computer programming in the Arduino class.

“They’re going to take and put some things together and then program one of those new boards to do something,” Burchell said.

The VR Experience course relates to virtual reality. Students will wear goggles and a headset and enter a virtual situation.

The Illustrator and Screen Printing class will allow students to create a designed T-shirt. The children’s class will provide engaging activity tips for little ones.

Registration is open until May 15 and can be done at

Laura McPhee, administrative assistant for Fox Valley Career Center and STEAM Summer Camp organizer, pointed out that there are athletic camps over the summer.

“This is more of an educational experience,” McPhee said. “But it’s all lab based. So, they’re doing things hands on. That reaches a certain type of student that is looking for something that not only gives them movement and lets them work as a team … It really helps them also to learn academically on how things work.”

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