‘It’s weird’ at camp
Lynd students examine unusual plant specimens during STEAM Academy
LYND — It’s full STEAM ahead for Lynd area students practicing Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math concepts at summer camp this week and next.
Lynd School Principal Jason Swenson said 121 students are signed up for the STEAM Academy/Little Panther Preschool Camps.
“A little higher than usual,” he said. “We had to put some on a waiting list.”
Angel Chavarria, a sixth-grader, picked an oak leaf, a dandelion that has gone to seed and a “purple something” outside which he brought into science teacher Martin Boucek’s classroom. Boucek had directed the group of students, who range from fourth grade to eighth grade, to go outside and pick three plant specimens.
In the classroom, each student was given a slide onto which they could place a tiny sample. The students put a drop of water on the slide followed by a top slide.
“The water ‘glues’ the two pieces (slides) together,” Boucek said.
Boucek said the exercise was to give kids an introduction to the microscope.
“The older students have used them but the younger ones haven’t,” he said.
Fifth-grader Charlotte Korman peered through a microscope at a piece of a dandelion in full bloom.
“It’s weird,” she said. “It’s like a bunch of yellow worms. It’s like a painting. Like a yellow painting.”
Meanwhile, in another classroom, first- and second-graders weren’t picking plants, they were planting them.
Roshawn Galle gave students a sunflower seed to place deep in the soil in a little pot “that will disintegrate, so if you want, you can plant them right in the ground,” she said.
She had the kids put “about 10 drops” of water into their pots. Galle was about to say a fascinating fact about sunflowers when second-grader Anisha Damle commented, “they follow the sun.”
“Yes, I was just about to say that!” Galle said. “They start out facing east and then turn in the evening west.”
Damle said her mom has always wanted a sunflower. Damle knows about sunflowers from firsthand observation.
“At my grandma’s lake house, my friend, who is a next door neighbor, they have sunflowers and I was looking at the sunflower and saw they were copying the sun,” Damle said.