Innovation with STREAM Camp Version 2021

As educators we have a multitude of opportunities to make a difference with students. I'm grateful that in my role as a District Instructional Technologist I have the potential to positively affect the lives and educations of thousands of Killeen ISD students. One of my favorite programs is the KISD summer STREAM camp that takes place in our libraries. STREAM camp evolved from a traditional summer library program in our school district. For various reasons, interest and participation in the program was waning, and we needed to make a change! One brilliant librarian, Dina Damore at Reeces Creek Elementary, suggested that we host a maker or STEM camp. We ran with the idea and hosted camps for two successful years. In 2020, we did not host the camp due to the pandemic. In my EDLD 5302 course, Disruptive Innovation in Education at Lamar University, this semester I seized the chance to deeply explore and develop ideas about how to innovate what is already an impactful program. My exploration is shared below in the form of an Innovation Proposal, a research Literature Review, an Innovation Outline, a video to share with stakeholders, and an Annotated Bibliography of related resources.

The pandemic has left us with no choice but to innovate in many areas of education, and STREAM Camp is no different. Although school feels odd, disrupted and different from it was previously, we need to continue marching forward. I anticipate that the innovations that are brought forth in the midst of this pandemic will have great implications on the state of education. Teachers and educational leaders are being exposed to the possibilities of digital learning that may not have been evident to them before.

My primary proposed innovation for STREAM Camp 2021 is to include a virtual component. We have remote learners that would love to participate in STREAM camp. It is essential that we provide equal opportunities for our face-to-face and remote learners to engage in school activities.

Another innovation we have planned is to host STREAM camp at a middle school, and customize those activities to a higher level. We are looking at ways to incorporate design challenges as well.

A third innovation that I am eager to include is incorporating 3D printing options in our activities. In Killeen ISD, 3D printers are becoming a standard in our libraries as we strive to include makerspace items on each campus. Therefore, 3D printers are more readily available for our students. STREAM camp is a wonderful time to expose students to the possibilities of 3D creation.

In order to establish the validity and need for large-scale projects such as a STREAM camp, we have to examine the research behind related topics. This includes ideas about inquiry-based learning, library learning commons, makerspaces, design thinking, as well as coding and computational thinking.

The common theme that I find in the majority of my research was that in order for students to be successful and to have authentic learning, they need to be provided with time and opportunities to explore topics that interest them. When students have choice, ownership, voice, and agency they can be captivated by topics that are of interest to them. When given options to solve real-world problems, students will engage in the 4Cs of 21st Century Learning: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. These skills are what will best prepare them for future careers.

Among the resources, titles of frameworks and steps to success differ, but the themes, supported by research, remain the same. Students excel in environments that allow them to explore their interests, and answer their own questions. STREAM camp absolutely provides students with the tools to freely explore a wide range of interests!

An event of this magnitude takes much pre-planning and collaboration. Above all, all interested parties need to remain flexible as rules and resources change and collaboration of professionals may occasionally lead us in a different direction. Detailed below in the implementation outline is a timeline, budget and areas of responsibility for STREAM Camp 2021.

  • October - Design Innovation Proposal
  • November - Secure Funding for staff and supplies
  • December - Preliminary Interest Meeting for staff
  • January - Organize Staff
  • February - Organize Locations
  • March - Advertisement & Planning
  • April - Order supplies & Sign - up
  • May - Sign - up & Survey
  • June - Camps take place
  • July - After Action Report

Additional Considerations and Notes

  • Locations - To be determined
  • Students - Grades rising 1-8, both Face to Face & Remote
  • Ratio of students - propose 25 of each, remote and Face to Face
  • Budget Approved - Title I funds

Digital Tools to Incorporate

  • Scratch
  • Code.org
  • Tinkercad
  • Sketchup
  • Minecraft

Existing Supplies to Incorporate

  • Dash Robots
  • Sphero Robots
  • Little Bits
  • Ozobots
  • Lego WeDo Kits
  • Makey Makey Kits
  • Hummingbird Duo Kits
  • Dremel 3D printers
  • Extraordinaires Kits

Remote Learner Considerations

  • Scheduling - Zoom sessions will need to be structured.
  • Supplies - Devices and consumable supplies will need to be issued.
  • Survey to determine which activities they will need supplies to participate.

This brief Innovation with STREAM Camp, Version 2021 video tells the story of KISD STREAM Camp with videos and pictures.

Throughout the first phase of this project I have had a chance to review an abundance of materials, including journal articles, government agency reports, websites and books. Several of these resources are included in this annotated bibliography. The resources and ideas relevant to the concepts of teaching with STEM topics are plentiful, so I have also included a list of additional references. There are so many books, websites and articles to dive into, and so little time! I am looking forward to learning and investigating more throughout my Digital Learning and Leading journey.

  • Barefoot Computing. (2020). Computational Thinking [Computational thinking involves six different concepts and five approaches to working.]. Retrieved October 24, 2020, from https://www.barefootcomputing.org/
  • Bers, M. U. (2021). Coding as a playground: Programming and computational thinking in the early childhood classroom. Routledge.
  • Committee on STEM Education of the National Science & Technology Council (2018) Charting a course for success: America’s strategy for STEM education
  • Dillivan, K. D., & Dillivan, M. N. (2014). Student Interest in STEM Disciplines: Results from a Summer Day Camp. Journal of Extension, 52(1). Retrieved October 21, 2020, from https://www.joe.org/joe/2014february/rb5.php
  • Fleming, L. (2017). Worlds of making: Best practices for establishing a makerspace for your school. Corwin Sage.
  • Goudvis, A., Harvey, S., Buhrow, B., Halverson, K., & Joseph, E. (2019). Inquiry illuminated: Researcher's workshop across the curriculum. Heinemann.
  • Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.
  • November, A. C. (2012). Who owns the learning? Preparing students for success in the digital age. Solution Tree Press.
  • Partnership for 21st Century Learning (2019). Framework for 21st Century Learning. http://static.battelleforkids.org/documents/p21/P21_Framework_Brief.pdf
  • Portnoy, L. (2020). Designed to learn: Using design thinking to bring purpose and passion to the classroom. ASCD.
STREAM camp would not be possible without the energy, vision and dedication of the librarians, their assistants and volunteers. Pictured: Dina D'Amore, Denene Barnes, Diane Hodyniak, Mary Seffrood, Diane Strickland, Laura Holz and Leslie Rowe

This project is continually evolving as I traverse my Digital Learning and Leading journey and as guidelines and resources in public education fluctuate.

Please contact me for more Information about KISD STREAM Camp or for other digital learning and edtech related questions.

  • holly.landez@killeenisd.org
  • 254-336-3452
  • hlandez@lamar.edu

Thank you for the inspiration and support:

  • Mrs. Dina Damore, Killeen ISD Librarian
  • Mr. David Manley, Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services, Killeen ISD
  • Dr. Jo-Lynette Crayton, Chief Learning Officer for Elementary Schools, Killeen ISD
  • Dr. Susan Buckley, Chief Learning Officer for Secondary Schools, Killeen ISD
  • Dr. Thilisa Thibodeaux, Digital Learning & Leading M.Ed. Program Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Department of Educational Leadership, Lamar University
  • Dr. Edwin Hood, Instructional Assistant, Lamar University
  • Dr. Duane Harapnuik, Clinical Instructor: Department of Educational Leadership in the College of Education and Human Development, Lamar University
Created By
Holly Landez


Photos by Dina D'Amore and Todd Martin Killeen ISD STREAM Camp 2018 and 2019