The Columbia STEM Alliance is PROUD to announce our summer programming plans. We will be offering a series of “mini-courses” that will run the months of June and July and part of August .  Each of these series will contain a variety of individual 3 hour sessions.  All sessions run independently and families will register for each session their child(ren) wishes to attend. We are classifying them in the following ways…

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Summer STEM Series


Kindergarten – 2nd grade classes


Recycling by Upcycling – Dr. Heather McCullar Instructor – We often throw away so much in our houses. Recycling is one way that we can help reduce the amount of trash we put in a landfill. In this courses, we will learn about recycling and how we can sometimes use recycled items to create something new through upcycling.

Engineering Solutions – “Water Filtration” – Dr. Heather McCullar Instructor – The water that we have on Earth is the only water we will ever have and it is vital to our survival. We will learn about water filtration and how this is important to help us have clean water. Participants will get to design and take home their own water filter.

Engineering our World – Dr. Heather McCullar Instructor – This course is designed to introduce students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade to the field of engineering. We will explore a variety of engineering fields through hands-on learning opportunities. Students will get to engage in a variety of design challenges and take home some of the products they design.

The BBC microbit

Programming with Microbits – Craig Adams Instructor – The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that introduces you to how software and hardware work together. It has an LED light display, buttons, sensors and many input/output features that, when programmed, let it interact with you and your world. We will spend our time learning how to program the microbit to say our name, play music, and basically have a fun time playing and learning! Students will KEEP their microbit!


3rd – 5th grade classes


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Engineering Solutions – “Water Filtration” – Dr. Heather McCullar Instructor – The water that we have on Earth is the only water we will ever have and it is vital to our survival. We will learn about water filtration and how this is important to help us have clean water. Participants will get to design and take home their own water filter.

Science and Design ‘In the Coop’ – Discover the science of backyard chickens while learning how to care for the flock. Students will also design and build poultry-related products. Students will learn and interact with different chicken breeds while learning about their care and maintenance.

Learning is as Sweet as Honey – Caitlin Nichols Instructor – Spend three hours learning about the intricacies of beekeeping, honey, pollination, and how you can make a difference! During this course you will have the chance to work with a working hive full of honeybees (from the safety of a beekeeping suit, of course!), learn about why honeybees are so important, and taste some local honey. You will see first hand how honeybees navigate their environment, how they help humans, and how (and why!) humans should help honeybees in return!

  • Instructors – Caitlin Nichols
  • Duration – 1 Session (8am – 11am)
  • Dates Offered -June 29th & July 1st
  • Suggested Grade Level – 3rd – 5th graders
  • Location – Fairview Elementary School, 909 S Fairview Rd
  • Cost – $25
  • Reserve a seat for the Learning is as Sweet as Honey!
The BBC microbit

Programming with Microbit – Craig Adams Instructor – The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that introduces you to how software and hardware work together. It has an LED light display, buttons, sensors and many input/output features that, when programmed, let it interact with you and your world. We will spend our time learning how to program the microbit to play games, build our own compass, and basically have a fun time playing and learning! Students will KEEP their microbit!


6th – 8th grade classes


The BBC microbit

Programming with Microbits – Craig Adams Instructor – The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that introduces you to how software and hardware work together. It has an LED light display, buttons, sensors and many input/output features that, when programmed, let it interact with you and your world. We will spend our time learning how to program the microbit to play games, control electronics, build a robot and basically have a fun time learning! Students will KEEP their microbit!

C++ Programming – Charles Koenig Instructor – Students will learn about the basics of the C++ coding language. This includes variables, conditional statements, and loops. Students will be able to create basic programs using the C++ coding language. These programs will range from the basic “Hello World” program to more advanced things like a simple student grade calculator, games, etc…


Cleaning our Streams with Art – Ever walk along a stream and wonder where the water came from and what about all of the trash? Discover our local waterways, participate in a cleanup, and redesign that litter into art, turning trash into treasure!

  • Instructors – Michele Woolbright (Boone Co. Wastewater Treatment) & Mike Heimos (City of Columbia)
  • Duration – 1 Session (8am-11am)
  • Dates Offered -June 8th
  • Suggested Grade Level – 6th – 8th graders
  • Location – Flat Branch Park
  • Cost – $25
  • Reserve a seat for Cleaning our Streams with Art

Stream Scientists – Become a citizen scientist, performing chemical analysis on the stream to determine the quality of water and if it is safe for animals to live in the water or if something or someone is polluting the water. (Students will need to wear shoes that can be in a stream)

  • Instructors – Michele Woolbright (Boone Co. Wastewater Treatment) & Mike Heimos (City of Columbia)
  • Duration – 1 Session (8am-11am)
  • Dates Offered -June 9th
  • Suggested Grade Level – 6th – 8th graders
  • Location – Flat Branch Park
  • Cost – $25
  • Reserve a seat for Stream Scientists

Rapid Prototyping – Toy DesignSean Dwyer Instructor – In this course students will learn how to design safe, educational, & entertaining toys for children from infants to tweens. Students will study top selling toys to determine what characteristics are sought after by both parents and kids. Using Tinkercad, students will create three dimensional designs which will then be printed, assembled, and painted. Students will be able to engage in a similar process of toy design that industry professionals take to make the top selling toys seen in stores all over the world.


Animation Desk – Sean Dwyer Instructor – In this course students will learn the basics of how to create short animations using the application Animation Desk. Students will learn how to create a storyboard to help them develop their animation. In addition, students will explore concepts such as frame rate manipulation and design layering.


The Art and Science of Photography – Mike Szydlowski Intructor – Students learn the skills and creativity needed to produce eye catching photographs that tell a unique story. Students will use both mobile devices and DSLR cameras (provided).

  • Duration – 2 Sessions (8am – 11am)
  • Dates Offered -June 28th & June 30th
  • Suggested Grade Level – 6th – 8th graders
  • Location – Fairview Elementary Nature/Play Area
  • Cost – $50 (fee covers SD card that students keep)
  • Reserve a seat for June 28th & June 30th

Women In STEM Series


Cleaning our Streams with Art – Ever walk along a stream and wonder where the water came from and what about all of the trash? Discover our local waterways, participate in a cleanup, and redesign that litter into art, turning trash into treasure!

  • Instructors – Michele Woolbright (Boone Co. Wastewater Treatment) & Mike Heimos (City of Columbia)
  • Duration – 1 Session (9am-11am)
  • Dates Offered – June 29th
  • Suggested Grade Level – 6th – 8th graders
  • Location – Flat Branch Park
  • Cost – $25
  • Reserve a seat for Cleaning our Streams with Art

Stream Scientists – Become a citizen scientist, performing chemical analysis on the stream to determine the quality of water and if it is safe for animals to live in the water or if something or someone is polluting the water. (Students will need to wear shoes that can be in a stream).

  • Instructors – Michele Woolbright (Boone Co. Wastewater Treatment) & Mike Heimos (City of Columbia)
  • Duration – 1 Session (9am-11am)
  • Dates Offered -June 30th
  • Suggested Grade Level – 6th – 8th graders
  • Location – Flat Branch Park
  • Cost – $25
  • Reserve a seat for Stream Scientists