LOGAN (WPVI) -- A summer STEM program is helping to stop the summer learning slide and also build a foundation for the future.
10-year-old Makayla Walker knows what she wants to do when she grows up.
"I want to be a doctor," Walker said. She added, "I think science is really, really really important."
She came to the right place.
For the 33rd year, the Franklin Institute teamed up with GlaxoSmithKline for a fun, free program.
5,000 children are taking part this summer across the Delaware Valley.
At the Logan Elementary School program kids can explore with all their senses.
10-year-old She-Kyah Boyd said, "I like to touch stuff, and I like to smell stuff."
The program focuses on students from second through sixth grades, which is a key time to introduce children to the subject matter.
This year's curriculum is called "The Science of Me" and covers what all people have in common and also what makes them unique.
In one lab, budding scientists extracted DNA from wheat germ.
Nicole Copestick is a high school biology teacher in Bensalem during the school year. This summer, she is an educator with this program.
"It doesn't matter that it's summer. Their curiosity is peaked, and they're excited," Copestick told Action News.
She added, "It's still getting them to think like a scientist, ask questions, make observations, and ultimately problem-solve."
This is the first year the program is partnering with local educational nonprofit, EducationWorks.
EducationWorks Chief Operating Officer Tiffaney Waters said, "When we have our students spend time with doctors, with lawyers, with folks who are scientists, chemists, it really kind of changes the scope of who they are. They can see that, that is them."
Student scientists enjoy free summer program
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