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Teenagers learn about marine biology at MCC's STEAM camp


When school lets out for the summer, most students are left bored or trying to find something to do, but Meridian Community College changes that by not only offering College For Kids but also offering steam, specifically designed for teenagers.

“There’s not a lot for kids to do during the summer around here, I mean you got baseball, you got athletics, but there’s no; I guess you could say, there are no programs like Summer College For Kids, yet, so they came up with the steam program."

Having hands-on experience is what instructor Dr. Robert Sample believes in.

“We’re Offering the Steam program as a community outreach for thirteen through seventeen-year-olds. We’ve been doing the Summer College For Kids thing for a number of years now, and that’s your six-year-olds through twelve-year-old’s, but we didn’t have anything for the teenagers, so we’ve only been in the lab for an hour and a half, and they already played with starfish, with the sea urgent, they’ve done water testing, they isolated bacteria, they’ve done a number of things, and they all seem really excited about it.”

Although Dr. Sample is used to teaching college-age students, he says not much changes with the curriculum

"It’s all about the words, if you can learn the vocabulary, you can master the subject.So; what you do with younger kids, you just have to spend more time explaining the vocabulary, because you have to go on the basis that they don’t have the vocabulary yet, they haven’t heard these words, they don’t know these words; whereas you know a sophomore in a college class, you can make some estimations to what their vocabulary should be at that point.”

Sample says breaking up a long-stretched curriculum isn’t as difficult as it seems.

“They asked me to teach the marine biology and I came up with the curriculum, it’s kind of a real abbreviated version of what we teach in the marine biology course, so I take 16 weeks and pack it into four days. “

Sample hopes before the program is over, the students will have been impacted by what they learned

“It provides an opportunity for them to experience something they wouldn’t normally experience because most Jr high and high schools in the area aren’t going to be able to offer a marine biology class. “


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