If you can’t make it to summer camp this year, why not have summer camp come to you?

With Massie Heritage Center’s summer camps on pause due to the coronavirus, the center is set to launch “Summer @ Massie: At Home” a series of free online STEAM courses. Massie is set to premiere the weekly series of courses, activities and challenges beginning June 1 for families to enjoy at home, safely social distancing from crowded classrooms.

“As part of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, we wanted to create a platform for students and families to be inspired while discovering Savannah’s heritage,” said Rachel Bradshaw, a heritage specialist for the center.

The free online resources will be updated weekly to provide families new learning experiences in STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

The digital format will be accompanied by to-go kits available for purchase featuring additional materials and souvenirs to use in conjunction with each course.

It’s all aimed at building up young minds and keeping them learning this summer during time away from school, Massie officials shared.

“Many of the resources will encourage viewers to go outside and experience their neighborhood, use their imagination and create art,” said Ayela Khuhro, a heritage specialist for the center.

The center’s first online course will encourage families to explore their own heritage, focusing on a personal and local history. The inaugural digital lesson will highlight the life and art of Columbus native, Alma Thomas.

The free digital course, “Alma Thomas: Georgia’s Out-of-this-World Artist” will explore the artist’s life and work through immersive video and art tutorials, helping families to create their own unique art inspired by Thomas.

Thomas was a prolific abstract expressionist painter and art educator who flourished in the 1960s and 1970s. Thomas was known for her colorful patterns and shapes which she embraced creating as a full-time artist after retiring from teaching in 1960. The digital course will inspire young artists to create their own special paintings and find their unique artistic voice.

Though moving online this summer, Massie Heritage Center staff say the camp’s mission of educating children and sharing history continues.

The center began as a school in 1856, and now operates within the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System as Massie Heritage Center, a living museum dedicated to history and education.

The digital course’s to-go kits will be available for purchase beginning with the very first lesson, and will feature a USB with project content, printed versions of the lessons and a book, paints, brushes, a “Summer @ the Massie” t-shirt and more.

To-go kits are priced $35 and can be purchased online, and picked up at the Massie Heritage Center or shipped directly to homes. Scholarships are available for families who are unable to purchase to-go kits.

To view the digital courses, visit online beginning June 1 at www.summeratmassie.com.

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