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Van Devender Middle School students take part in SPACE Camp

Van Devender Middle School students "launching" frisbee UFOs.
Van Devender Middle School students "launching" frisbee UFOs.(Wood County Schools)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 2:10 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Students participating in Van Devender Middle School’s summer program had the opportunity to take part in what was referred to as Mission Middle SPACE Camp Wednesday.

Because the school district received federal pandemic funds as well as grant money through the West Virginia Department of Education, it has been able to offer more summer programming than usual to students with the goal of helping them make up for classroom time lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And the SPACE Camp was a part of that programming. The district has also been able to provide free breakfast, lunch, and transportation during the summer programming in order to make it more accessible.

In this case, SPACE stands for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), physical activity, arts, clubs, and experiential learning.

“The idea was to create a program that was fun and engaging but still touching on core subject areas of curriculum,” said Michael Erb, coordinator of communications at Wood County Schools. “The hope is also that this gets them ready for school in the fall,” he added.

Some of the activities included “launching” frisbee UFOs, learning about the scientific principles of inertia and momentum through pendulum painting, a Zoom course with the Challenger Museum that simulated the landing of a probe on a moon of Mars, and more.

Erb said the camp, as well as other summer programs, have been well received.

“Most of the feedback we’ve been getting has been very, very positive...I’ve been posting photos online of different things that we’re doing and explaining why we’re doing certain activities, what they’re intended to teach. And we’re getting a lot of parents sharing them and commenting on how wonderful the programs were, how excited the kids have been,” Erb said.

Additional updates about the district’s summer programming can be found by following its Facebook page.

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