About Summer S.T.E.A.M.

Based at Drexel’s ExCITe Center and Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, our program philosophy is that children in West Philly should experience cutting-edge activities and technology based on the latest advances in learning science.

Our Young Dragons Summer S.T.E.A.M. program is a six-week summer day camp, developed in partnership with ExCITe Center at Drexel University. Initially piloted 2014 as Summer S.T.E.A.M., the program has expanded from a two-week program to a six-week program, that serves middle school scholars living in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone and applies a culturally-responsive and relevant lens to science, technology, engineering, arts/athletics, and mathematics (STEAM) learning. Throughout the program, we incorporate the scientific method, the engineering process, new technologies, and arts & design to facilitate development of agency and strengthen self-expression within scholars. The program invites young people to incorporate their own stories and identities into their learning and to develop approaches and build skills to amplify their voices, in both familiar and new contexts. 

The goal of the program is to celebrate and empower young people through an exchange of knowledge and inspiration. Throughout the program, scholars participate in activities fully aligned with a selection of Next Generation Science Standards and powerfully connect with elements of STEAM already present in their lives (within music, sports, and culture). The program’s project-based learning curriculum employs STEAM-integrated projects and activities that intentionally create individual opportunities for expression. The curriculum incorporates a wide variety of STEAM activities, including:

  • Sports Science

  • Music Technology

  • Sneaker Design & Engineering

  • Visual Arts & Animation

  • Dance, Movement & Design

  • Space Exploration

  • And more!

In 2019 the program was offered at no cost to 95 rising 5th-8th graders residing in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone, an area served by the following middle schools: 

  • Alain Locke Elementary

  • Morton McMichael School

  • Martha Washington Elementary

  • Science Leadership Academy Middle School

  • Belmont Charter School  

For reference, the Promise Zone is indicated on this map.