Students in Gr. 1-8 who wanted to “zoom” through a theme- and project-based class this summer attended a variety of two-week classes at the Bucknall campus.
In Gr. 1-4, students attended thematic, hands-on academic classes until noon each day for two weeks, and then moved to afternoon groups where they participated in traditional summer camp activities including archery, swimming and dance. Older students, Gr. 5-8, remained in their themed academic classes until 3:30 each day, with recreation periods included in their day.
For the younger campers, the theme of summer guided their activities, which included different topics each session. For the Gr. 3-4 students, Session A focused on bugs, so students spent time investigating live bugs, performing the story “The Grouchy Ladybug” and making homemade lemonade and popcorn. These students took a walking field trip to Dolphin Pet Village, where they got to touch some of the animals, including a snake!
During Session B, Gr. 3-4 students could be found constructing mini-skateboard parks, marble raceways and amusement parks, and surveying students on their favorite crackers. According to Kathleen Ferretti, Gr. 3 math and language arts teacher, “Of the choices of Saltines, Ritz and Goldfish, the winner was Ritz by an overwhelming majority!” Students during this session also took a walking field trip to U.S. Bank, which included a walk through the vault and seeing the inside of the ATM.
In the third session, third and fourth graders constructed artistic models of sea stars and sea anemones, made imaginative sea creature pictures and under the sea dioramas sparkling with glitter, shells, fish, seaweed and sand. They also made scientific fish models from play dough. This group’s walking trip was to Nob Hill grocery store including the produce section, where students toured the freezer, kept at -5 to 5 degrees F, the shipping area, the meat department, and the deli. Afterward, the class enjoyed trays of cookies, salami and cheese as well as goodie bags.
Campers in Gr. 5-8 had a variety of choices for their project-based classes, including a Crime Scene Investigation class, the journalism option of Camp Chronicle, Debate, Art, Rockets and Robotics. The latter class, which was new this summer, had one of the largest enrollments of the Zoom courses.
Michael Schmidt, middle school computer science teacher, instructed the robotics course, and thoroughly enjoyed himself. “With four meetings per day, we could go from concept to building to programming to testing in just one day,” said Schmidt. The kids made robots that they could control with their own handmade remote controls. They made robots that played music, avoided obstacles and raced along a line the fastest to the finish. On the final day, the students displayed their robots to their parents and showed them their programs. “I personally was amazed with how much we covered in just two weeks,” he added. “But the kids took everything I offered them and ran with it. They were amazing!”