University students got a chance to try out the education profession working where a summer camp boosts math, computers, and new teachers.
At California State University, Stanislaus, the Pre-Freshman Enrichment Program (PREP 2014) finished its 26th session. Most of the 88 students who attended were foster youth or from farmworker families following the crops. These are among the groups that have the most difficulty in school.
For chemistry major Robert Baughn, “The take-home moment for me was getting to see students get interested in science. It’s good to see it come alive for them.”
Baughn was among some 30 science students and teachers in training tapped to help with the three-week intensive program. All-day classes were divided into two math sessions, two science sessions, one technology period and a time for yoga and meditation, said student coordinator Maria Newsome.
“For the two-period blocks, the first one they were learning fundamentals and the second were hands-on activities. For example, in one they were learning about shapes and in the second one they were making their golf courses. When they learned about intersecting lines, that became making kites,” she said.
The real-world applications used successfully for 25 years in the summer academy are good examples of Common Core teaching strategies, said Newsome, who will be teaching science at Turlock Junior High when the school year starts.
Technology time focused on free-to-all Google applications, including its ubiquitous search engine. Students were encouraged to research their favorite soccer players, their hometowns or other topics.
“Many of these kids have never been on a computer before,” she said. “These are foundational skills.”
Yoga and breathing exercises fit into a session called “mind and body.” A poster noted it was “very fun because you get to take off your shoes.” Dream time while stretching was popular, as was a modified “warrior” pose while yelling.