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Family First with FOX43: Kids take summer camp online with a 'Snap'

Snapology, a STEM-based learning center with two local locations, if offering online summer camps for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With many sleepaway and day camps shelved for the summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are being forced to improvise. You can't keep the kids inside all summer, can you? 

You can, as long as they're active, and there's an organization which is enriching children's minds, one Zoom session at a time.

Snapology is a learning center with locations nationwide, including two in South Central Pennsylvania (Lancaster and Camp Hill), focuses on STEM-based curriculum: Science, technology, engineering, and math. Some organizations have started to use the acronym STEAM, with "art" added into the mix. While its in-person summer camps are still in session with social distancing in mind, Snapology is offering summer camp sessions for the first time. These sessions change every week, and are held from 9a-12p every morning. 

Snapology of Lancaster & Reading Director Becka Shoener says camp sessions are for kids ages anywhere from 2 to 14 years old, and gun the gamut in topics from robotics, to animation, and video game design.

"Even though we are technology-based, it’s not screen-based," Shoener said. "It is hands-on interactive. It incorporates social development, incorporates communication. It’s very well rounded."

Classes use Legos as the vehicle to learn. This week, kids ranging in age from 5 to 10 years old are taking part in a 'Mining and Crafting Camp', inspired by the video game Minecraft. An instructor keep the kids organized but most of the time, the children in the camp session are letting their imaginations run wild.

"Even though they don’t realize they’re learning, you can see what they’re learning is helping them to grow," Shoener said.