Eastern Arizona Science Initiative shares Summer Science Camp with local youth

The Eastern Arizona Science Initiative (EASI) and Eastern Arizona College partnered Monday through Wednesday, June 24th-26th to offer an amazing Summer Science Camp opportunity for students in 6th through 9th grade from throughout Eastern Arizona.

The EASI Summer Science Camps are designed for students interested in science and the environment to participate in a variety of fun, hands-on activities with the help of knowledgeable instructors to help them appreciate the world around them and strengthen their interest in pursuing higher STEM education classes and eventually pursue careers in science. The camp was hosted by the EAC Discovery Park Campus and the 44 students came from nine different school districts.

The 2019 EASI Summer Science Camp focused on “the Science of Beef”.  The students participated with Cindy Pearson, Nate Brawley and Bill Brandau from the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture – Graham County Extension Office – in an exciting field trip where they discovered the process of raising beef – “from pasture to plate”.  The field trip began at a local feed lot and pasture to focus on the care, immunization and attention to ensure safe and healthy cattle.  They then went to Carter’s Custom Cuts meat processing facility to learn the steps in humane harvesting and meat preparations.  The group then went to Thriftee Supermarket to see how the processed meat, as well as fruits and vegetables are carefully packaged, displayed and sold to consumers.

The other exciting activities included the students experimenting with bubble gum in  “Don’t Burst My Bubble” with Heather Dillman, Ft. Thomas High School Technology Teacher, where students compared five different types of bubble gum determining their sugar content and other ingredients, weight before and after being chewed, number of chews to soften for bubbles and how big a bubble they could make.

Becky Booth, Duncan High School Science Teacher shared “Classifications”, where the students learned about the Carl Linnaeus’ classification of all plants and animals, and went over concepts involved in designation the differences in species.  “Awesome Math Games” by Julie Cook, Thatcher Elementary Teacher taught the students fun games that increased their math skills and involved probabilities and statistics – they learned and didn’t realize they were using and learning math skills. Ethan McBride, Thatcher High School Biology Teacher, shared “Adapt of Die!” where the students learned about plant and animal adaptations and how the differing biomes where they live can affect changes – especially plants and animals endemic to our Sonoran Desert biome.

“Bacteria Friend or Foe?” by Chris Cook, Thatcher High School Science Teacher, explained the many facets of bacteria, how it can be dangerous to us, but can also be beneficial in our lives when used correctly in dairy food items and immunizations.

Paul Anger, Director of the EAC Discovery Park Campus and Director of the EASI Summer Science Camps, shared a lesson on “The Physics of Archery”, the first time archery has been offered at the camp.   Through a grant from the Graham & Greenlee Co. Rural Activation and Innovation Network (RAIN), EASI was able to purchase six Youth Bows – five right hand and one left hand, as well as arrows, targets, and cones to create a sage archery range.  Several concepts of science in archery were discussed, including the physics, energy and geometry involved.  Students got to use the bows several times during the class and ended with competition for candy bars, and the title of best archer.

At the conclusion of the camp parents and siblings of the campers were invited to join the groups for a special presentation in EASI’s giant portable Planetarium with Paul Anger for a lesson on astronomy and a look into the planets in our Solar System.  They also attended an exciting presentation by Aaron Burke, EAC Biology Professor, to learn about see, and even touch several different types of native animals including a tarantula, turtles, a king snake and gopher snake, salamander, and even a Gila Monster! It was a great time and everyone enjoyed it.  All Camp participants received an Awesome Camp T-shirt, backpack, Prizes and lots of take home activities.

Paul Anger, Director of EAC Discovery Park Campus and Director of the EASI Summer Science Camp thanks “our friends at Freeport-McMoRan through the employee payroll deduction program and the Graham & Greenlee County United Way for sponsoring and funding these amazing STEM camps, and the Graham & Greenlee Counties Rural Activation and Innovation Network (RAIN) who funded the new archery equipment for the camp, and the EAC Discovery Park Camps for the great facilities and hosting the Camps.”  Anger states; “The annual Summer Science Camp is a great opportunity for youth throughout Eastern Arizona to meet, have fun, and learn STEM lessons and activities from enthusiastic and knowledgeable educators.

For more information on the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative’s Summer Science Camps and activities please contact Paul Anger at the EAC Discovery Park Campus at (928) 428-6260.