Fun, Hands-on Learning at BOCES Summer Program


With course topics ranging from dinosaurs and cooking to woodworking, robotics and fantasy baseball, learning proved fun for the students who attended the Eastern Suffolk BOCES Summer Enrichment Program at Academy Street Elementary School in the Bayport-Blue Point School District.

Children in grades 1-7 had the option of attending a full- or half-day program. The morning session was comprised of enrichment programs, while recreational activities were offered in the afternoon for those enrolled in the full-day program.

“There was something for every child,” said Mike Luce, director of the program at Academy Street. “The enrichment courses were designed to be hands-on and technology-based. The kids worked in groups, enhanced their creativity, made friends and had fun. We also provided after-care and extended child care hours.”

The program’s Legoland course, taught by Michael Buscemi, was an excellent example of students learning, competing and enjoying themselves.

“Legos allow students to work with patterns and use their creativity to develop projects,” he said. “Over the three-week session, students had the opportunity to apply scientific methods and procedures to build different robot features that helped move the Lego pieces.”

Over in the electronics class, students discovered that electricity is a source of power and energy, and they used electronic equipment to learn the difference between an alternate and direct current. “The students in this course are in grades 5-8 and will be going into tech classes, so it’s important for them to have some background knowledge in electronics,” said teacher Andrew Cangemi. “This course is a great balance between learning, keeping their minds sharp and having fun.”

The Summer Enrichment Program students also had the opportunity to go on field trips to Citi Field, Fire Island and the Vanderbilt Planetarium.