FHSU summer camp plans for success

By Kayla Overbey

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A majority of children look forward to avoiding school for the summer and letting everything they learned over the past year slip out of their heads.  However, for kids involved with Fort Hays State University Science and Mathematics Education Institute’s (SMEI) summer camps, this is not the case.

Campers show off their projects at FHSU 2011 summer camps.

Instead of allowing bright, young kids to waste days in front of a television, FHSU is using these programs to instigate learning during the summer. The unique camps cover a variety of subjects and include students from almost every academic grade.

Two of the programs, Camp Invention and Fast Track Science Summer Camp, have already met registration capacity. The three remaining programs provide opportunities to strengthen education during the summer and are designed to target specific skills and different grades. Fort Hays State is welcoming any student that wishes to register with their summer programs.

Students entering grades five through seven can “Make a Splash with Math” at the Fort Hays State Mathematics camp, held June 18-21. Starting at 8 a.m. and ending at noon, participants in this program will become more familiar in the foundations of math through interactive play with water.

Instructors will introduce kids to water park design, from waterslides to concession stands, all while strengthening their foundations of math, said Dr. Lanee Young, associate professor of mathematics and computer science at Fort Hays State.

“We will determine how fast the water should be moving down the slide, how much to charge for snacks so we make a profit at the concession stand, create models to scale, design a fun-shaped pool and play with water,” Young said.

Campers develop fun relationships with instructors at the FHSU 2011 summer camps.

Over four days, the students will contribute to team formation, design and creation. At the end of the program, the participants will celebrate their success with a water fight.

Older students may feel drawn to a more mature academic program. Fort Hays State is dedicated to providing a positive summer experience for all ages, including middle school and early high school students.

The newest Art and Science Program will make a debut this summer by focusing on the conceptualization, design and construction of roller coasters. This five-day program, held June 25-29, is targeted to young adults entering grades six through nine. Not only will participants learn about the physics of theme park rides, but will also create original marketing plans to advertise their parks.

Fort Hays State also hosts the Hays Summer Academy Starbase Robotics and Space camp. From June 25-28, students entering grades five through seven will meet in Tomanek Hall on the FHSU campus to program and test Lego robotics equipment and launch hand-made rockets. Through this award winning U.S. Department of Defense youth education program, kids will become inspired to become active in math and science.

A camper at one of the FHSU 2011 summer camps explores robotics machinery.

Each program focuses on specific techniques to help campers become more involved and excited about math and science skills. Fort Hays State hopes to encourage kids concerning math and science, and increase their confidence with such skills.

Those interested should visit the Science and Mathematics Education Institute website at www.fhsu.edu/smei/camps for more information and online registration forms, or call 785-628-4168. Registration information, such as deadlines, prices, times and locations are available through the website.

(This article was posted on the Fort Hays State University website on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. I’m posting it here, along with pictures I edited, to archive my work.)

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