Monday, May 10, 2010
Learning with passion
PHOTO: Is there anything you can’t create with paper and paint? If there is, kids can use video, computers, legos, and clay in this summer’s adventure camps.
Looking for something for the kids to do this summer - something really different and engaging and interesting? That’s what Kathy Patterson was doing when she began offering Computer Explorer camps in the hill country four years ago.
Computer Explorers is a series of interactive science camps that lets kids literally get their hands on cameras, inventions, computers, legos, video equipment, and all sorts of cool tools to learn creatively and constructively.
"I have young kids, and was looking for things for them to do in the summer," the A&M graduate said. "I wanted to provide more educational activities. I had a passion for it. If we know even one child who decided to become an engineer because of these classes, it will be worth it."
So this summer, kids ages 6 to 12 can explore the world from the depths of the oceans to outer space. This year’s offerings are Multimedia Adventure Camp and the Science & Space Ca
At Science & Space Camp, Star Wars still rules. Patterson promises young space cadets might be the next George Lucas, by becoming the writers, directors, actors, animators, and special effects creators of a mini space movie. Then they switch to science, slipping on the white coat to become detectives who use forensics to solve crime scenes.
In Multimedia Adventure Camp, campers create their own animated cartoon strips while they explore the world around in three dimensions. This action-filled camp includes sections on building inventions, making up experiments, and writing stories.
The older youngsters take it a step further and add sound effects and music to create an original video game.
Patterson has operated this educational business for four years, and now has set up classes in Boerne, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, San Antonio, Dripping Springs, and New Braunfels. She has fulfilled her goal of offering learning with passion.
"Girls and boys get just as excited with these activities," Patterson said. "I have had kids crying because they didn't want the class to end."
Computer Explorers has been proven and field-tested nationally since 1983. The camps are taught by certified teachers and are based on sound educational practice, aligning with current curricular standards. Patterson is able to accommodate at-risk students and has seen students flourish "who don't always function well in a typical classroom."
But that is not why the kids love it.
"It is educational and fun," she said. "I think it challenges the kids, and they are learning in a fun way, solving problems that are challenging to them. You don't get to build things in many other school activities."
Just don’t tell the kids they’re learning - it might spoil the fun.
Science & Space Camp runs the week of August 2 in Kerrville and the week of June 7 in Boerne. Multimedia Adventure Camp meets the week of June 21 in Kerrville and the week of June 28 in Boerne. Club Ed offers summer camps and classes for kids and adults. To sign up, visit www.clubed.net or call 830-895-4386.
Club Ed is the Community Education program of the Kerrville Independent School District. Each year, we offer more than 400 classes with 3000 enrollments. The fall session begins in September. To sign up, ask a question, suggest a class, or apply to teach, call 830-895-4386, or visit www.clubed.net. Comment online at clubedcomments.blogspot.com, or follow us on Twitter @clubedtx.