An enjoyable time of exploring rockets and poetry at summer school is a very different approach from previous years.
The D.C. Everest summer program in Wisconsin goes beyond math and literacy with activities that include designing and engineering structures, cooking and baking meals, studying entomology, touring local farms, manufacturing facilities and other businesses.
“Our intent is to offer students the opportunity to explore extracurricular interests and pursue subjects they are passionate about while making new friends,” said Scot Abel, D.C.E. summer program director. “Students aren’t simply sitting in a classroom. They’re building rockets and Rube Goldberg machines. Writing poetry and then presenting their haikus on the stage of the Grand Theater. Touring Monk Gardens to study ecology and sustainability. Spending a day on a dairy farm and learning how to fly drones for use in agriculture.”
According to Abel, “hands-on experiences help students absorb what they’ve learned.” It also makes the courses more exciting.
“Literacy and math are the core of our program, but the enrichment classes really provide students with the chance to explore new ideas and develop 21st-century skills — real-world problem-solving, collaboration, critical and innovative thinking, and creativity,” he said.
Over 1,400 students enrolled in the program, held at three different schools. They took courses in conservation, sports, creative writing, LEGO physics, LEGO robotics, Minecraft coding and programming, drama, musicals, cooking, and science in action.