POINT ROBERTS - Two summer workshops will allow youngsters' imaginations to take flight as they learn about science, technology, engineering and math - commonly called STEM.
The Point Roberts workshops are through Digivations Institute, a nonprofit started by Point Roberts couple Steve and Anne Berman.
The first is called "Lego + Arts" and begins Thursday, July 12. There also will be a three-day Mini-Academy, which begins Aug. 12 and delves into commercial space mission adventures.
The nonprofit has received a $2,460 NASA mini-grant to help bring the workshops to Point Roberts.
The Bermans said their teaching approach involves "multiple intelligences" - think combining STEM with arts and movement - to make it accessible to youngsters, whether they're intimidated by the topics or love STEM and want more.
"A lot of our kids that come to our academy are so turned on already, and we feed that," Anne said.
Their focus means approaching the topics in a number of ways so youngsters don't just learn how to make energy or what is alternative energy, according to Anne.
"They're also going to learn a lot about all the different people and the philosophers all the way back to ancient Greece," she added, by way of example.
"The whole point is we want to inspire the next generation of innovators," Steve said, and that means enabling students to "connect emotionally, academically and physically with the concepts."
So that could entail playing a game of tag called Potential and Kinetic; potential meaning stored energy and kinetic meaning movement. Or playing an educational version of Legos as well as a game called "Sphere of Influence," developed by the Bermans, that teaches how philosophers, artists, scientists and explorers influence each other, leading to new discoveries.
And it means using improv, storytelling, digital music and gymnastics, with Anne saying that the same ideas that launch rockets - force, thrust and lift, for example - are the ideas that gymnasts think about.
The Bermans, who both have experience teaching and researching and are trained as Lego Education Academy teacher trainers, originally developed their approach several years ago while working in California.
They started a company, Digivations, to spread their curriculum, responding to what they saw as a lack of programs for kids that combined sciences with artistic expression. They started teaching classes and workshops to students and teachers in both California and British Columbia.
What: Digivations Institute summer workshops.
Where: Point Roberts Community Center, 1487 Gulf Road.
? Lego Arts is 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. July 12, 13, 26, 27; Aug. 2, 3, 9 and 10. This workshop is for ages 6 to 12.
? Mini-Academy is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 12-14; 19-21, and 26-28. This session is for ages 9 to 15. Students will learn about aerodynamics and Newton's laws, building different types of rockets and preparing business plans as student teams create their own commercial space rocket companies.
Cost: $30 a day for Lego; $120 for the three-day Mini-Academy.
Registration, including pizza, and details: digivations.com or 360-543-5641.