I saw a rather creative T-shirt the teachers and staff were wearing at Sandhills Farm Life Elementary School on their last day of school: “Tag, You’re It!”

With the end of another school year, the long, hot summer begins with a bunch of opportunities by SKIESUnlimited (see https://bragg.armymwr.com/promos/2018-skies-unlimited-summer-academies). The newest member of the team is Bricks-4-Kidz which provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) camps this summer and will continue in the fall for after-school programs.

“Jurassic Brickland” was the first theme on the summer camp syllabus where the students in grades K-5 learned about paleontology and dinosaurs.

After a brief time for free-build as the kids arrived, a Computer Aided Design (CAD) (Fire Tablet) building exercise was independently completed where each of the students earned a battery pack to add motion to their design upon completion.

Problem solving opportunities were experienced during the exercise such as when the connection to the battery pack was not flush, when the battery pack was turned on in reverse or when pieces were attached in the mirror image of the blueprint making it so the pieces wouldn’t connect properly.

After Brontosaurus building was completed, the students staged their project so the parents could take pictures.

The next phase of the class was a small-group building exercise of a 3-D dinosaur. Again, each team got a Fire Tablet to aid their design with the emphasis on sharing and cooperation built in.

The next part of the day’s activity was building a dinosaur mosaic using 1x1 pieces on an 18x18 plate. Techniques used were as varied as the pictures. Some chose to outline the dinosaur, others started at the left and went to the right, row after row. Others chose to free play with their created projects.

The last project was using modelling clay to create dinosaur fossils of choice. There was a bin full of models to use and again, each student chose a different dinosaur for their creation.

When they completed their project, they were instructed to let it dry at home on paper towels until it fully hardened.

Parents picked up their junior paleontologists at noon, but could not leave until they saw the creations that each made and the kids couldn’t wait to return in the morning for more exploration and creation!

Registration is still open for those with a current CYS membership online or at any CYS facility for seven more camps for K-5th graders. Three of the camps will be for 9+ year olds in the afternoons from 1-4 p.m. to delve into programming, coding and robotics. For more information, please call Mr. Paul at 910-90-S7K5I4E3S7.