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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 20, 2017

Summer camps combine learning, fun

By Rachel Wonderlich | Jul 31, 2017
Source: PHOTOS COURTESY OF RACHEL WONDERLICH Blowing “bubble snakes” at a summer camp are, from left, Marley Bright, Alex Hudson, Kara Daugherty, Alexandra Steward, Lenox Bright, Aaron Carlson and Harrison Mahon.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Jefferson County has kept youth busy this summer with one summer camp after another. And they’re not done yet!

The camps really kick into high gear this week for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Investigation Destination camps. Twenty-three classes for all age groups runs from today through Friday,

Classes range from coding, robotics, rocketry, web programming to insect zoo. Also featured are wind energy, kids in the kitchen, neuroscience, healthy bodies and healthy minds, photonics and 21st Century Technology.

“The response to our camps this summer has been incredible,” said Rachel Wonderlich, county youth coordinator. “All in all, we will educate over 160 youth this summer with our affordable camps. We are especially grateful to the Fairfield Community School District for providing lunches for youth participants at all of our summer camps in July and August.”

Once the summer camps wrap up, youth can remain involved through the largest positive youth development program. 4-H programs provide opportunities for youth to develop skills they can use now and throughout their life.

For more information regarding the summer day camps or Jefferson County 4-H, contact Wonderlich at 472–4166 or via email at rachel4h@iastate.edu.

 

Camps so far

In June, the extension office kicked off the summer with a Roller Coasters and Imaginative Innovations Day Camp for kindergarten through second grade youth. The participants learned about basic physics and how to problem solve while testing toys.

The next camp focused on honey bees and was offered to youth in grades third through sixth. Participants learned about pollination and how important the honey bees are to the food system. The extension office even hosted the Iowa Honey Queen.

July began with a Celebrate Iowa Day Camp, again for youth grades three through six. They learned about the history of Iowa, the Iowa State Fair and agriculture. Participants researched famous people and products from Iowa and presented to the rest of the group. They also made “State of Iowa” String Art which was showcased at the 1st Friday Art Walk which had a theme of “Celebrate Iowa.”

The extension office continued with a Bubble Factory Day Camp for kindergarten through second graders where they experimented with various wand shapes and bubble solutions. They compared different soaps, painted with bubbles, made bubble snakes and even got to stand inside a bubble.

Reaching an older audience, sixth- through eighth-graders came to the Entrepreneurship Investigation Day Camp where they learned how to create a business. Toward the end of the day, the participants created their own business combining all of the aspects they had learned throughout the day. Some of the businesses created included a pet hotel, edible hats, aerial tours and a homeless shelter for children.

Most recently, the Dinosaurs Day Camp on July 24 welcomed 27 kindergarten through second-graders. Participants traveled back in time to learn about dinosaurs that walked the earth many years ago. They became paleontologists for the day while unearthing dinosaurs, learning how fossilization occurred from volcanoes and even created their own dinosaurs.

Summer educational assistant Ashtin Walker has helped lead all the summer camps thus far.

“I enjoy watching all of the youth participate and help their peers learn more about the specific topic. It’s fun to see how much they already know and how excited they are to learn more,” said Walker.

 

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