HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Now more than ever, organizers in the Washington County say it's important for young students to be focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) and one group is trying to get recruits at an early age.
"My favorite part is seeing the light bulb moments for kids, getting kids engaged in steam education,” said Founder and Executive Director of BEACON House, Anthony Williams.
A new organization is coming to the Four-State.
The BEACON House is a community outreach program that focuses on increasing "STEAM" education for students from low-income households.
"According to the National Science Foundation statistics, even at age 2 there's a cognitive development gap of about 20% compared to students in a middle or higher income brackets,” said Williams.
Founder and Executive Director, Anthony Williams has a long background in education.
He has worked in the Washington County School System as well as oversees and those members that are joining him on his new journey say they only have high hopes.
"It’s about opportunity and so when there's not the opportunity for all the extra programs that costs money...this fills in that space,” said Director of Curriculum Development, Katrina Fauss.
On Sunday afternoon the group met to discuss this upcoming summer's curriculum.
“There’s a lot of actual development that goes back [during the summer]. They regress and lose some of that learning during that time,” said Williams.
The summer program will focus on kid’s ages 6-13 years old.
During the camps the students will be able to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math, which officials say will expand their critical thinking.
"[It will help them] Connect to their creativity and problem solving skills, but also an appreciation for science and for the whole world around us,” said Fauss.
Organizers say specifically in Washington County the need for a program like the BEACON house seems to be increasing.
"About one in two student’s apply for free or reduced meals. So you're looking at really 50% of the population of Washington County Public Schools,” said Williams.
Organizers say they hope to expand beyond Western Maryland in the future.