I was thinking back today and I remembered something totally awesome from my childhood. And by childhood I mean high school.
When I was a freshman and sophomore, I volunteered for the summer science camp held at our middle school. It was some of the most fun I had in high school. We had various ages, and though my memory fails me even at a young age, we were dealing with elementary school students. The camp consisted of a week of daily science themes, where the science teachers from the school system would each lead a class of kids in a science experiment relating to the day’s theme. Space, Materials and Matter, Earth sciences; all presented in age appropriate ways with several experiments to teach basic principles in each topic. Each class lasted about an hour, which is good because attention spans at that age are not sizable.
As a student volunteer, my responsibilities included helping run lunch time, snack time and helping with whatever experiments happened to be the most involved that day, needing the most hands on help for the kids. Until the last day.
The last day of the camp was Forensics Day. All the student volunteers were assigned a role in a crime mystery. This usually involved the theft of another character’s beloved toy or stuffed animal. The kids would all be gathered in the morning to hear the bad news and that they would be tasked with helping catch the thief! All the classes that day revolved around different forensic methods they could use to identify the thief, be it via fingerprint found at the scene, footprints in the mud, or depositions and alibis. At the end of the day, we’d all gather again and the kids would get to question us with their new knowledge and evidence and eventually the culprit would be brought to justice.
I just checked the school website from my home town. Looks like they’ve expanded their summer camp program. They even have two Engineer camps! Maybe all hope isn’t lost for the future generations.