Fun activities reinforce learning at school camp
Nearly 900 students are playing their way to greater knowledge of science, technology and math at the Iberville Parish School System's first Discovery Camp, being held at five schools around the parish.
The monthlong camp is a precursor to year-round education, Superintendent P. Edward Cancienne Jr. said.
Elvis J. Cavalier, the school system's executive director of special projects who is leading the camp, told the school board last week that the camp program is designed to develop students' interest in environmental issues, but also teaches science, technology and math lessons along the way.
"The kids don't know that, but that's what it is," he said.
Cavalier also presented 87 high school student workers who trained during the school year and now are working as mentors and "facilitators" at the camp. Shintech Inc. is paying the students' salaries.
"These kids think they're just working at a camp," consultant Lee Meyer told the board. "They're going to have a step up because they're going to understand what leadership means.
"This is your future right here," he said. "You should be proud."
"They are doing just a fantastic job," said Delores Grevious of North Iberville. "They take control of the students from the time they get there."
Grevious said the students' activities at Discovery Camp should help produce a great science fair next year. The high school students are working with teachers to provide the camp to 163 children at Crescent School, 342 at Iberville Elementary School, 143 at Dorseyville Elementary School, 140 at North Iberville Elementary and High School, and 73 at East Iberville Elementary and High School.
In East Iberville, Discovery Camp is getting some competition from a camp the City of St. Gabriel is offering at its community center, which has the attraction of a swimming pool.
St. Gabriel Mayor George L. Grace said nearly 100 students are participating in the camp. The City of Plaquemine canceled the day camp it has run for several years at the City of Plaquemine Activity Center because of the increased competition.
Selectman Jimmie Randle is trying to get a free camp, run by volunteers, going at COPAC next month.
At Discovery Camp, students are participating in experiments on a wide variety of subjects - robotics, pre-engineering principals, astronomy and rocketry, computer technology, sound technology, pyrotechnics, water quality analysis and fish and fisheries. They also are taking part in environment arts and crafts, science-based recreational activities, interpretive dance and field trips aimed at developing an appreciation of local culture.