Sunday, June 17, 2018
Education

Energy camp sparks creativity

RUSKIN

Emilia Jara did not think a camp on energy could hold a kid's attention. She was prepared for days of long lectures and dull lessons. She was happy to be wrong.

"I thought it would be boring," said Emilia, a student at Beth Shields Middle School in Ruskin. "But it's a lot of fun."

Emilia and about 30 other students from Beth Shields and Pierce Middle School in Tampa spent four days at Hillsborough Community College's SouthShore campus learning about energy. Camp themes included solar and hydrogen power, fossil fuels and windmill generators. The camp engaged the students through colorful slide shows, ask anything discussions, fun field trips and plenty of creative, hands-on experiments.

The campers are members of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Excel at their middle schools. AVID Excel is designed for high-achieving English-language learners. These students were hand-picked for the camp because they love to learn. AVID Excel strives to improve leadership, public speaking and organizational skills so students can succeed in middle school, high school and college.

It was clear the kids looked forward to the experiments. After a lesson on solar power, summer camp instructor Kyla DonLevy had a job for the students. She wanted them to create solar cookers so they could make s'mores and pizza rolls. The kids broke into groups and happily went to work.

They used pizza boxes, an umbrella, a packing box and other materials. They cut. They folded. They taped. They all hoped their cookers would work the following day so they could enjoy the tasty treats.

Benjamin Albarado, an eighth-grader at Beth Shields, enjoyed the projects but was happy he had partners to bounce ideas back and forth.

"It's cool because you have a team to help you work it out," Albarado said, as he jammed pieces of aluminum foil into a pizza box. "You'd probably mess it up if you did it by yourself."

Nina Stokes, camp manager, said the camp gave students perspective and the projects offer them real-world experience.

"The focus is on hands-on," she said. "We're trying to make those concepts come to life."

Brittney Wilhelm, a teacher at Pierce, said the students gained a lot of information and knowledge thanks to the energy camp. They also got to spend time at a college.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for them at HCC," she said.

The students attended the camp for free. The camp was sponsored by FLATE (Florida Advanced Technological Education Center), HCC-SouthShore and the Florida Energy Systems Consortium.

Guadalupe Frayre said her time at the energy camp made her think about ways she could conserve energy and envision an engineering career.

"It's been a fun experience," said Frayre, a student at Pierce. "I never imagined me doing stuff like this."

DonLevy, who teaches biology at Durant High School in Plant City, was happy to work with the teens. She said these students and others like them will someday lead society. Hopefully, she said, they'll remember what she talked about.

"It's going to be up to their generation to make choices," she said.

Monica Bennett can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

Since 2002, the AP World History course has covered thousands of years of human activity around the planet, starting 10,000 years back. But now the College Board, which owns the Advanced Placement program, wants to cut out most of that history and st...
Published: 06/16/18
School board races attract new faces

School board races attract new faces

TAMPA — When long-time Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes resigned this month from the board to run for the State House of Representatives, the decision affected more than just her seat in west Hillsborough’s District 1.It also coul...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/17/18
Hillsborough schools tax referendum is unlikely for November

Hillsborough schools tax referendum is unlikely for November

TAMPA — Money that the Hillsborough County School District needs to build schools and replace air conditioners might be farther from reach, thanks to a new state law and a bureaucratic process required before the voters can decide on a tax referendum...
Published: 06/14/18
University of Chicago eliminates SAT/ACT requirement

University of Chicago eliminates SAT/ACT requirement

The University of Chicago will no longer require ACT or SAT scores from U.S. students, sending a jolt through elite institutions of higher education as it becomes the first top-10 research university to join the test-optional movement.Numerous school...
Published: 06/14/18
Unhappy with superintendent’s budget wish list, Hernando School Board shuts down talk of tax increase

Unhappy with superintendent’s budget wish list, Hernando School Board shuts down talk of tax increase

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano presented to the School Board Tuesday nearly $53 million worth of budget priorities, asking them to choose which will be funded in the upcoming school year.The board voted 3-2 later Tue...
Published: 06/13/18
UT shines the spotlight on visiting authors

UT shines the spotlight on visiting authors

The University of Tampa’s MFA program will host the June 2018 Residency Visiting Writers Lectores Series that runs from now until June 21 on the ninth floor of the Vaughn Center, 401 W Kennedy Blvd. Each reading will be held at 7:30 p.m.Each January ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Hernando School Board fires Superintendent Lori Romano after member says she ‘lost the public trust’

Hernando School Board fires Superintendent Lori Romano after member says she ‘lost the public trust’

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano will step down at the end of this month following a 3-2 vote by the School Board to terminate its contract with her amid increasing concerns about her ability to lead.Romano has suffere...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18
Pasco summit aims to merge school cultures while making students feel included

Pasco summit aims to merge school cultures while making students feel included

NEW PORT RICHEY — The dozen Fivay High school students and their administrators arrived at the Pasco County school district’s annual Together We Stand conference with a clear goal in mind.With hundreds of former Ridgewood High students arriving in th...
Published: 06/12/18
Central’s air rifle team prepares for national competition

Central’s air rifle team prepares for national competition

BROOKSVILLE — Historic Camp Perry is where it’s at. Located near Clinton, Ohio, the National Guard training facility is where the nation’s top shooters go to compete.Next week, some of Hernando County’s top shooters compete there in the Civilian Mark...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/14/18
An ambitious new goal for Hillsborough schools: Every child up to speed on reading by third grade

An ambitious new goal for Hillsborough schools: Every child up to speed on reading by third grade

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins has an ambitious new goal. He wants more students to be proficient in reading."I think it is the code to crack," Eakins said in an interview. He also told the School Board on Tuesday that ...
Published: 06/08/18