TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ) — They call it the “summer slide” — children forgetting some of what they’ve learned in school as their minds sit idle in the summertime.

But, as Mary Bubala reports, there are plenty of of ways to keep their minds engaged while they’re having fun.

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Anna and Madison use motion sensor technology to get their Lego design to move. Samuel Wenck is doing the same. They’re all part of a robotics class at Sylvan Learning in Timonium this summer.

“We program it, something that looks like this, and we’re still building. So the goalie is going to jump out,” said Cage Tarrant, student.

“What’s great about it is it’s all fun and play–or so it seems. But what it’s really doing, is introducing kids to their first STEM class,” said Julie Fitzgerald, Sylvan Learning.

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It’s about engaging young minds in STEM education early. Right now, only about 16 percent of high school students say they’re interested in STEM courses, but that’s where future job growth is.

Connecting this generation to science, technology, engineering and math is essential. In the summertime, it’s got to be about fun and games.

“This combines a little bit of teamwork with each other and then a little bit of competition with each other,” Fitzgerald said.

“They take each others robots and try to battle it out at the end of class. That makes them see that it’s fun and they want to come back,” she continued. “And hopefully, they want to continue with things like programming and engineering in the future.”

The summer STEM classes at Sylvan are geared toward children ages 6 to 11.

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