By Bethany J. Royer
CONOVER — For the near 30 students partaking in the first ever three-day Math and Science Camp held at the A.B. Graham Memorial Center from Monday until today — what summer learning gap? As students from ages 8 to 12 years took advantage of 14 exploratory science and math activity stations set up just for them. Whether it was to conduct an experiment on volcanoes (No frets, mom and dad, it was a very small volcano) to seeing how many drops of water fit on a penny or making shrinky dinks.
A majority of the activities, however, revolved around the science of flight and motion, with students designing, creating, and building a variety of objects that either move or fly, with plenty of take home projects. This included galaxy t-shirts that the coordinators of the event were wearing on the first day of camp — Tracy Merica, a middle school teacher at Graham, and Jennifer Everett, a third grade teacher at Springcreek primary.
Thanks to Everett and Merica, the students had not only the multiple stations to work through but three main projects that consisted of building a mobile, an airplane, and even a canister rocket.
“They (will) see if they can add something to their project to make it go a further distance, or go higher,” explained Everett of the main activities with testing stations set in the gymnasium. “Then they’ll bring it back to the design tables and maybe add weight or add some kind of counter-balance. We’ll talk about what makes things move. All kinds of things to interact.”
One such interaction included a station where students could make UV bracelets or necklaces - the beads react to UV light and change color, accordingly. Students were then tasked with answering questions such as what happened when the beads were exposed to light, why is it important to know about UV exposure, and more.
As a middle school teacher, Merica has seen students coming into her class with less and less science exposure, due to emphasis on reading. For her, the camp posed an opportunity for those very students to have hands on exposure.
“Kids are missing out on that,” continued Merica, and with the A.B. Graham Center looking for a variety of ways to introduce its many amenities to others in the community, the camp was a perfect opportunity. Also, all funds raised from the camp will go back to, and in support of, the Center.
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall