In June, students from Cuba Middle School, Lybrook Middle School, Coronado Middle School, and Lindrith Area Heritage School spent a week of their summer vacation at Science Summer Day Camp. The camp, which was held at Cuba Middle School, was a result of the partnering efforts of dedicated teachers, community members, and the Science Education Partnership team at the University of New Mexico (UNM). The camp was made possible by the hard work of Ms. Olivia Casaus, Mr. Daniel Delgado, and Ms. Kate Bagby of the Cuba Independent School District, Mr. Gary Hoodless of Coronado Middle School, and Ms. Marietta Hoodless and Ms. Darlene Chiquito of Lybrook Middle School.
Students began the week by learning about the biology of birds and visiting the National Forest near the Clear Creek Campgrounds to bird watch.
On Tuesday, students visited the land of Mr. Ray Cisneros, a local horticulturist and retired teacher. He taught them about the science of agriculture, and students got to bring home pepper and tomato plants in small pots. Mr. Hoodless guided the students in collecting macroinvertebrates from a pond on Mr. Cisneros’ land, and the next day, students were able to examine pond water under microscopes in the school lab.
Later in the week, a computer scientist from Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically) taught the students how to write code for a computer program. The program was about epidemiology (the study of the spread of disease). While taking a break from the computer lab, the students made soap to take home and learned about how washing with soap helps stop the spread of germs.
On Thursday, three students from UNM’s medical school visited the day camp to show the middle school students how to use medical instruments such as stethoscopes. The medical students also talked about how to stay healthy and how to pursue a career in medicine.
On the last day of camp, students made their own “roller coasters,” which helped them to learn about engineering, kinetic energy, rate, speed, and acceleration. They also made T-shirts to take home as a souvenir of camp.
Be sure to thank the teachers, parents, and community members who supported the community’s youth with their time, energy, enthusiasm, and ideas! They are definitely making a difference in the lives of youth in Cuba, Lybrook, Gallina, and Lindrith.