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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Science Camp a Learning Experience for Future Teachers

kids at science camp
During Aztec Science Camp, the kids who participate get to learn hands on. But they are not the only ones benefiting from the experience.

The College of Education students who take part in the annual event are learning as well.

Garineh Melikian, who is in her second semester of student teaching and will be completing her  credential program by the end of the year, said she really enjoyed the experience.

“I absolutely loved it! The people I worked with were so generous,” said Melikian, who is pursuing a credential so that she can teach high school biology and hopes to add a math credential in the upcoming year. “They shared with me their experience, time, and knowledge so I could be successful. There was a strong sense of community amongst the teachers and coordinators.”

Started in the summer of 2014, Aztec Science Camp is a two-week program—it takes place in two one-week sessions—designed to give children ages 7 through 14 early exposure to fun aspects of science and math. The camp allows kids to “investigate subjects from rocks to robots and have fun, new adventures every day.”

 Aztec Science Camp also helps future teachers by exposing them to the teaching planning process.

“As a teacher, you allocate a certain amount of time to each activity and then you stand back in amazement as students challenge your understanding of time and engagement,” explained Melikian.

This, she said, leads to developing a sense of flexibility which is essential for the teaching profession,

“As a teacher, you spend hours designing lessons. When so much time and concentration is spent on a task you become attached and it can be difficult to adjust,” Melikian said. “Camp quickly displays what doesn’t work and requires you to adapt. Having exposure to students in a low stakes environment such as camp allows student teachers to experiment and see how activities are carried out by students.”