Snyder’s Farm Combines STEM, Agriculture In Summer Camp

Veteran teacher Shannon Anwander will lead the Snyder’s Farm summer STEM camp.

Update: This program has been cancelled.

Children in grades 2 through 5 will be offered high-tech education in a low-tech environment this summer.

Snyder’s Farm, 586 South Middlebush Rd., is planning a series of week-long summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Camps, from the end of June through mid-August.

The traditional science curriculum will be paired with agricultural issues, said Snyder’s Farm’s Beth Savaryn.

Classes will be offered from 8 a.m. to noon Mondays through Fridays, with a different project featured each week. The classes will be held on the farm’s front lawn, and in its carriage house in bad weather.

The summer camp will combine technology with agriculture, said the program’s teacher, Shannon Anwander. Anwander is a 3rd Grade inclusion teacher at Woodbrook Elementary School in Edison.

Anwander said she and Savaryn met at the farm’s Fall Festival last year, and the two started talking about such a summer camp.

“We were talking about STEM challenges because the national standards for science are becoming really large in the classrooms and there’s a lot of hands-on work,” she said. “We were talking about the agriculture part because I believe that farm-to-table is becoming more prominent in the schools, they’re trying to show children that this is where food comes from. So combining those two things is super important for children to understand where the food is coming from and what the process behind it is.”

“I think our children need to be questioned about the how and why, the critical thinking,” she said. “The same thing goes for the agricultural part, why are these things happening out here? Blueberries just don’t grow, what is the process behind it and why are we eating it, and why would it be more important than just going to the grocery store.”

“So it’s really supporting our whole community, especially our farmers, and anybody else who’s growing from the backyard and trying to sustain their lives as well,” Anwander said.

“The open-air classroom is the best part of it,” Savaryn said. “They’re outside all day long.”

“What better thing than to have children active outside, hands-on learning, actually socializing with each other instead of being on their technological devices?” Anwander said.

“I think it’s going to work well,” Savaryn said.

In addition to Anwander, a 17-year teaching veteran, the camp will have high school- and college-aged aides and counselors, at the ratio of one per every 10 children, according to Snyder’s web site.

Tuition is $180 per week. Registration information can be found here. Savaryn said she is planning to hold open houses in the coming weeks to introduce Anwander and discuss the camp.


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