By 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
The Child Development Center hosted its first science camp at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, July 22 to 26, as part of the Air Force Specialty Camps offered every summer at the CDC and School Age Care program.
Gary Hernández, 50th Force Support Squadron school age coordinator and main organizer of the Air Force Specialty Camps, said the science camp gives school age children greater insight into topics they might not experience until later in their educational journey.
“With the science camp we are trying to expose children to new experiences and give them a head start on some concepts they might not readily be exposed to until later in their school years,” he said. “It opens up their eyes to opportunities in future career fields and also exposes them to high yield activities. We give them a chance to make a guess or hypothesis and learn about the deeper science. Taking this to another level is what I am excited for.”
Hernández said the camp introduces children into the science, technology, engineering and math fields, helping them decide future career interests.
“I think it’s good to get a head start on this area of knowledge, to give the children a chance to get exposed to STEM now so later they can really delve into something they like,” he said. “Right now, it gives them a taste and then as they get older, they can decide, ‘I like science itself, technology or engineering.”
Patricia Acosta and Jaqueline Sánchez were the science instructors for this camp, and Sánchez gave a brief insight on upcoming lessons.
“We are going to be touching on a lot of different topics in the science field, for instance, today we are going to be looking at rocks and rock classification, the kids will be collecting bacteria samples and on Tuesday we will be building robots with the children,” she said. “On Wednesday we are going to be looking at the bacteria that they grew under the microscopes, they will be doing DNA extractions and dissecting a frog. Thursday, we will be building solar panels and circuit boards, we will be doing chromatography and on Friday we will build mounted rockets.”
Sánchez said the camp gives children a broader perspective, helping them tackle their school subjects with more confidence.
“Introducing children to all these different science topics allows and encourages them to be a little bit more open minded when they go into school, it gives them a different look into these science topics,” she said. “The science and STEM fields are growing, I think getting the kids started young and motivating them to look into the science field will be helpful for progression and jobs they could look into.”
Kenya, 9, explained what she enjoyed the most out of this camp.
“I liked to do the swab because we get to experiment and see what kind of bacteria the things we swabbed have,” she said.
For more information about the CDC and SAC program, call 719-567-4742.