Tech Savvy Kids generates STEAM with local children
For nine years, Tech Savvy Kids has educated youth on the basics of science, technology, engineering, art, and math, better known by the tidy acronym STEAM, for a pretty straightforward reason.
“You have to look at the way the world is today,” said Director Melissa Brown. “It’s surrounded by technology, it’s surrounded by the field of engineering. Bridges are going up, bridges are coming down. So, why not empower them [kids] to be a product of those fields to make a difference?”
Tech Savvy teaches kids up to age 12, with a day camp program for children under the age of five and an after school program for kids five and up.
Getting kids in that age range to study expansive fields like engineering may sound difficult, but the teachers at Tech Savvy have some creative ways of engaging their students. Each week has a theme, such as nursery rhymes, back to school, digging up dinosaurs, and each day of the week represents a letter in STEAM.
The week that The Daniel Island News toured the facility, the theme was fairy tales. For Tuesday, the “Technology” day in STEAM, students had to design a bridge out of Legos for the Three Billy Goats Gruff to cross.
The after school program tackles the same ideas but on a slightly elevated level.
“We’re teaching them the engineering design process,” said Brown. “They have to imagine it, they have to design it, they create it, we ask them a lot of questions about it. And whatever it is they create, we ask them how they can improve it.”
“I just love everything about it,” said teacher Anne Murray Lewis. “It’s great for the kids as they grow up. They learn a little respect, a little ‘thank you,’ ‘please,’ and it’s wonderful.”
“I love the technology,” said infant and toddler teacher Britney Johnson. “The kids have a lot of access to things and they learn. It’s not overwhelming.”
Tech Savvy Kids was located on Daniel Island from 2010 through 2013. After taking a year off, they reopened at the current location at 405 Jessen Lane off Clements Ferry Road. They are looking forward to celebrating their 10th anniversary next year.
After almost a decade, Brown and the Tech Savvy still believe in the strength of the kids they educate.
“It’ll be the children that we’re servicing today that will be discovering cures for various diseases that are out there, when the bridges go out, they’ll be figuring out how to make them better, how to make them stronger,” said Brown.