CU Science Discovery is a 35 year old STEM program for K-8 students at the University of Colorado. The CU Science Discovery summer camp offers the opportunity to dive deep into the wonderful world of science taught by CU faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.
The Intention of Moment
The CU Science Discovery camps are designed so that parents drop off and pickup in one centralized place. The young campers are taken to their camp location by camp staff to start the day with their camp instructor. The downside of this convenient drop off and pickup system is that camp instructors generally do not engage with the parents face-to-face and seldom by email. This disconnect provided a great opportunity to introduce Moment to share what the campers were doing and connect the camp instructors to the parents for the first time.
The Moments for CU Science Discovery
With Moment, instructors were able to post photos and curriculum highlights of the day. With an average of nine posts per week, parents were able to familiarize themselves with their child’s experience and quickly appreciate the amazing and creative ways the CU Science Discovery instructors were teaching their children about the human body, paleontology, ecology, and more. This was noted in the loves and comments on the posts and through direct messages sent by parents to the instructor.
Parent Appreciation and Engagement
The real magic happened at pickup and dropoff. It was here that the Camp Director noticed a shift in conversation and behavior. Parents were talking with one another about camp! They were pulling out their phones and discussing the photos and topics covered in the camp. When they saw their child, they didn’t ask the age old question “What did you do today?”, but rather focused on more targeted, poignant questions about an actual activity of the camp such as, “I saw you dissected a chicken leg today. Tell me what that was like. What were you learning about?” Quickly, a real and meaningful conversation ensued between parent and child.
Another example is when a new instructor to CU Science Discovery started attending drop off and pickup. The Camp Director noticed an immediate familiarity between him and the parents. The conversations, although often still about upcoming activities or a recap of the day, were deeper. And, the instructor received appreciation and gratefulness from parents for the work he was doing. The Camp Director credits Moment for helping to quickly develop strong instructor/parent relationships each camp week.
Moment’s mission is to connect parents with the educators, directors, coaches and artists that work with their children. Moment’s communication tools help establish relationships, build community and increase engagement, but the important work really begins when these individuals set the mobile devices aside and start to connect person to person, child to parent, and teacher to student. Moment provides the platform to share experiences, learning, and insights about the kids, but it’s the conversations, laughter, storytelling and questions that take the initial connection created in Moment to a whole new level of meaningful relationships.
These are the relationships CU Science Discovery created this summer, along with lasting memories of an incredible STEM educational experience for the campers.