Students participate in a Chemistry in the Kitchen class during last year’s Children’s College at UNM-LA. Photo by Vint Miller
The popular UNM-Los Alamos Community Education Summer Program for Youth (SPY) returns in July with week-long classes for children in grades 1-10.
Children’s College, for children entering the first through third grades, and Youth College, for children entering the fourth through sixth grades, runs July 18-22. Teen College, for students entering the seventh through tenth grades, will take place July 25-29.
For students in grades 1-3, this year there will be both a morning class, Adventures at the University, and an afternoon class, Afternoon Adventures. Students who choose to participate in both classes can stay on campus through the supervised lunch hour. The morning sessions include hands-on workshops in chemistry (experienced through food interactions), math, local history, and more. The afternoon session includes arts and crafts, fitness activities, and theme-based literacy activities involving bats and bugs.
Grades 4-6 meet only in the afternoon, and may select a specific topical class. Nicole Lloyd Ronning, an astrophysicist at LANL and also a Bradbury science Museum science ambassador, is teaching Awesome Astrophysics. Students will engage in a variety of hands-on activities to learn about a wide range of topics in modern astrophysics. Los Alamos High School Chemistry teacher Kathy Boerigter will teach Chemistry in the Kitchen, leading student on adventures in chemistry by interacting with food. What makes bread rise? What is candy chromatography? Another class, University Explorations, provides students with an overview of a diversity of subjects, with different teachers offering expertise in their fields. Students will explore a variety of topics, including art, local history, computers and rocketry, including a rocket launch.
The final alternative, Teen College, for students entering the seventh through tenth grades, will take place July 25-29. In Cybersecurity, with Neale Pickett, students will learn basic attack and defense techniques in the cyberworld, or how to recognize threats and protect computers, while working on Raspberry Pi hardware. In Teen Theatre, Eliana Drew will guide students through writing and performing a play, including making costumes. Debray Bailey will teach students Game Design: how to create and modify computer games while learning programming and game design.
Dr. Cindy Rooney, CEO of UNM-LA, noted, “Part of UNM-LA’s mission is to support a passion for life-long learning. We are committed to provide unique, forward-looking learning opportunities, spanning the sciences and the arts, built on unique local and regional assets. We look forward to hosting over 150 students in the Summer Program for Youth this year.”