Summer Academy STEAM 3-5

Week 4

Finishing up Water Resources

We started our week off by finishing up our water unit, learning about filtering saltwater into freshwater. Ultimately this process is the answer to the world's need for fresh water. We found that only 1% of our water is fresh but 71% of the earth is covered with saltwater from the ocean. Not all is lost however, we can take this "71%" and turn it into freshwater right now, and this process of filtering saltwater into freshwater is already being widely used in the Middle East and is slowly catching on here in California. The process uses a combination of the filtration of saltwater through the use of huge mixed media filters and high pressure for the process of reverse osmosis. Filtering saltwater to freshwater is a game changer for areas that do not have access to fresh drinking water due to drought or has no source of freshwater but is surrounded by ocean. It is because of the genius and talents of engineers that water can no longer be a scarce resource.

Ultimate Survivor Challenge


We are so thankful that your children have been with us for this year's Summer Academy STEAM 3-5 classes, how fast the time as passed.


For our culminating activity, students worked in teams to apply knowledge of the activities and methods they learned throughout the weeks, to survive on a stranded island, off the coast of Thailand.


The Scenario: You are on a boating expedition with your family off the coast of Thailand and a big storm hits! The boat was damaged and began to sink while you and your family all swam and made it to one of the 40 smallest of the islands in the Mu Ko Ang Thong archipelago.


Mu Ko Ang Thong is a beautiful series of islands found in the gulf of Thailand. You have washed ashore on one of the smallest islands that has no source of fresh water. You will likely be found by a boat in the next few days, but unfortunately, another storm is on the way! You will have two full hot days of sunshine before the next big monsoon storm hits.

Ultimate Design Process-Ready for anything!

As a team of four, students were asked to not only build something useful and functional but they also needed to explain how and why each material for their items would help their teams survive. Each team was given a set amount of money (30 Survival bucks) and limited list of items to choose from to buy. Then they were given approximately two days to build and test their creations.


  • SHELTER: You will need to build a shelter to withstand and protect you from the the winds and rain coming from the West. Your shelter also needs to provide shade when it is hot and sunny. (We are building smaller shelters that need to protect an area the size of a piece of construction paper!)


  • FRESH WATER: You will have hot sun for two days before the rain arrives. How will you collect fresh water to drink?


  • FOOD: There are two main sources of food. There are fish in the water that can be caught with a net or there are crickets (hexbugs) that can be caught with a trap.


  • FIRST AID: One of your family members seems to have broken a major bone in their lower leg. How can you help them?


Showcase Fun

Thank you for attending our Showcase this year. We really appreciate your commitment to fostering a love of learning and creativity in your children. We could not do this without your support. Have a wonderful rest of your summer.

The STEAM 3-5 Team.