Posted by Sara Meers on July 10, 2013
One hundred middle school students representing four local districts have been on the Aurora University campus this summer participating in the Amazing Summer Science Camp. Students from Aurora East School District 131, Aurora West School District 129, Indian Prairie School District 204 and Oswego School District 309 have come together for two three-week camps focusing on the environment and flight and space.
The programs are led by AU students who work closely with the middle school students to help strengthen their science content knowledge and increase their interest in science through a variety of hands-on activities.
“The program provides a wonderful benefit to the AU student leaders, all of whom are studying to be teachers in our education programs,” said Dan Hipp, Professor of English and Program Coordinator for the Amazing Science Summer Camp. “They are able to add one more significant teaching experience to their growing resumes. For the kids and their school districts, we are able to offer a way for students to deepen their knowledge in ways that build upon all they are doing during the school year. I think the chance to make the students even more interested and inspired in these areas will help them in these subjects as they enter high school and become future college students.”
Throughout the first session students focused on the environment, learning about the inter-dependence between living organisms in our world, and had the opportunity to visit the Morton Arboretum, an outdoor oasis made up of trees, shrubs and other plants from around the world.
The second session, which is currently underway, places specific focus on flight and space. Participating students are spending time studying Newton’s Laws of Motion to gain a better understanding of how principals such as acceleration and velocity affect flight. They also will experience a simulated space mission during a field trip to the Challenger Learning Center in Woodstock, Ill.
Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner showed his support for the initiative when he stopped by on Wednesday, July 10 to spend the morning with students and see the summer program in action.
“All of us working on this program, as well as the Aurora middle school students, are very grateful to the community for supporting this program,” said Hipp.
The camp is sponsored by the Institute for Collaboration of Aurora University, Communities In Schools and the City of Aurora.