Youth program a true learning experience

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 The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos campus has been abuzz the past few weeks with students from grades one through 12, participating in the Summer Program for Youth that ran from July 29 through August 1.
The program now in its 25th year, provides exciting, hands-on, activity-based learning sessions focusing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The eight classes offered included the study of rocks, coding, animals, movie making and cyber security and each lasting four half-days.
“We tried to provide a selection of topics that included favorites from previous years as well as new subject matter and age-appropriate learning experiences,” Eva Artschwager, director of community education said.
“The class, Working with Animals, generated a lot of attention because we had so many live creatures on our campus in one week,” Artschwager said, who helped facilitate visits from dogs, goats, falcons and great horned owls.
Organizations that participated or volunteered time included the Bradbury Museum, Assistance Dogs of the West, Raptor Center of Santa Fe, Debby Wood Goats and the Animal Clinic of Los Alamos. Los Alamos National Laboratory employees also donated time during non-work hours.
In addition, the program also offered classes in forensics, in which students used scientific principles to solve forensic cases, and “Lifters and Launchers,” in which students created a variety of devices for lifting and propelling objects.
One of the most popular classes was the Robotics Antics, which allowed students to build and program robots using LEGO Mindstorm kits.
Parents of students talked about the program. “They love it,” remarked one of the parents, who was picking up her second grader from the morning session and dropping off her seventh grader for the afternoon Basic Coding class.
The students themselves seemed to agree. “Thank you for giving us a good time,” one student said, referring to the animals class. “You provided us with lots of fun and learning.”
For more information visit losalamos.unm.edu/community-education.