Camp Raven participants enjoy hands-approach to getting ready for middle school success


This summer might be hot so far, but at Camp Raven, 58 students are discovering some of the many ways that middle school is cool!

The free half-day camp at Loch Raven Technical Academy began on July 5 and continues, Monday through Friday, until July 29. It was designed to help students who will be entering Grade 6 in the fall to prepare for the transition to middle school and build their skills in the areas of reading, math, social studies, and science. Much of the learning is project-based and student-led.

Here’s just a glimpse at what the happy campers are doing:

In social studies, projects are focusing on the Oceania region. Students are exploring the geography of the region, human migration, early civilizations and culture, belief systems, colonization, and Australia today. Some of the projects include building their own three-dimensional physical map of the continent, creating their own miniature boats resembling how the early humans migrated to the area, as well examining artifacts of the early people who lived in the region to determine their level of cultural advancement. 

In science, students are thinking and acting like scientists as they tackle the question: What's So Special About Water? On opening day, students made predictions about whether a paper clip could float on water and observed the shape of water droplets being added to a penny. Throughout their Camp Raven experience, students will demonstrate Next Generation Science Practices, which range from asking questions and planning and carrying out investigations to constructing explanations and designing solutions that can be explained using student generated data.

During math class at Camp Raven, students are incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities to apply the design process to solve a problem. Students are conducting experiments with different fabrics, digital thermometers, and ice to select the best insulator for a journey to Mount Everest. Once data is collected, students will represent the data on line graphs, calculate the cost to manufacture the coat, and create a visual representation of their final team design. Also, students will be working with measurement and fractions to create an architectural design of a building. Weather permitting, we will be going outside to use proportions in similar figures and shadows to find the height of various objects around Loch Raven Academy.

In Camp Raven’s reading classes, students are learning skills and concepts that will help them write narratives. Students are learning how to select or form a central idea and then use creative language to reflect tone and character while conveying vivid pictures of experiences, events, setting and characters. Students will experiment with creatively tell their stories through a compilation of song titles that symbolize them. 

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