Columbia, CA — The Mad About Science summer camp was canceled last year due to COVID but plenty of Tuolumne County students showed up this year to hone their skills.
4th and 5th-grade students in the county, a 120 in all, rolled up their sleeves to participated in various hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities. The camp took place the first week of August on the Columbia College campus in Columbia. Some of the activities included building and launching water rockets, building and testing various engineered structures, performing chemistry experiments, making musical instruments and modeling sound waves, and exploring the biological and natural resources on the Columbia College campus. Those activities are intended to get students excited about science and engineering and help them recognize the importance of these fields in their everyday lives, according to Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools (TCSOS) officials running the camp.
The students work collaboratively to solve problems and test their solutions, just like real scientists and engineers. TCSOS officials relay that eight teachers were recruited from local schools based on their experience, expertise, and ability to challenge students with engaging activities. They add that Mad About Science allows teachers to have their students experience subjects and activities not always possible in a traditional classroom setting.
The camp was made possible by a grant from Front Porch and the Sonora Area Foundation. Columbia College donated the classroom space among other support for the camp throughout the week. For more information on future camps contact Tricia Dunlap, STEM Coordinator, 209-536-2082.