Full STEAM Ahead: TMJF Partners with Drexel University to Offer Pioneering Summer Camp

A unique six week Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts & Athletics, and Math (STEAM) summer program for middle school students in the West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhood


Now in its fourth year, the 2019 Young Dragons Summer STEAM program will feature six-weeks of fully-integrated STEAM education activities for one hundred middle school students in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone neighborhood. The free day camp, offered through a partnership between The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation and Drexel University’s ExCITe Center and Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, has always focused on the creative intersections of science, technology, engineering, arts & athletics, and mathematics (STEAM), and increases the amount of custom-developed STEAM content each year, since piloting in 2015.  The program is an expression of The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation’s mission to bring positive change in the lives of youth through innovative opportunities and resources.

The curriculum aspires to make the subjects of science, technology, engineering, math and the arts, resonate with students from a young age, so they are awakened to the power and relevance of these subjects in their day-to-day lives. Unlike any other summer camp in the nation, the program combines the latest technology and learning science research through novel activities including music production, visual arts and virtual reality, and sports science.

“This will be a great opportunity for campers to experience a lot of amazing program offerings, while also leveraging experts, undergraduate and graduate students at Drexel, providing them opportunities to gain teaching experience through the development and implementation of STEAM curriculum,” said Gwendolyn V. Jenkins, President & CEO of The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation. “We have many fun learning activities planned throughout the six-week camp, including field trips to places like NovaCare Center, NBCUniversal, Franklin Institute, Fabric Workshop and Museum and more, to gain first-hand experience on the various areas of STEAM education and activities they are learning.”   

New modules for 2019 will illustrate the engineering principles behind the design of popular sneakers and will introduce themes of astrophysics, astroengineering, and astrobiology in a week focused on STEAM and space. 

“For 2019, we are incredibly excited to offer the camp we’ve envisioned for years. The program is entirely custom and integrated activities that transcend the boundaries of technology, science, and education. This camp is everything we believe learning should be—exciting, creative, and fun—and is not available anywhere else at any price. We’re honored to offer this experience to students in the West Philly Promise Neighborhood,” said Youngmoo Kim, PhD, director of the ExCITe Center. 

The Young Dragons Summer STEAM program has been developed specifically to meet the needs of children living in close proximity to Drexel. This two-square-mile is a federally designated Promise Zone due to challenges it faces associated with persistent poverty. The 2019 summer session will start on Monday, June 17th and continue through Thursday, July 25th, and is offered at no cost to middle school residents, entering fifth through eighth grades.