Mondovi Youth Chug Full STEAM Ahead Towards Endless Learning Opportunities

Buffalo County youth experienced a summer full of STEAM! The youth of the Mondovi Community Youth Center program, along with other local young people participate in the wonders of STEAM Discovery Days. Youth were given an opportunity to use Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics through fun and engaging hands-on activities.

The program was conducted on six Wednesday afternoons in June and July at Mirror Lake Park. During the many sessions throughout the summer, young scientists explored topography maps, drones, the properties of quicksand, infrastructure safety, the harm of UV rays, aerospace and gravity, electrolytes, cells and viruses, archeology and many more hands on experiments. Through these experiments youth explored all aspects of STEAM in a fun-filled environment.

There were 62 students who attended the program over the course of the summer. The purpose of STEAM Discovery Days was to help students gain a better understanding of STEAM while practicing skills like critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication, and decision making skills. The program aims to help bridge a gap between the academic years and fall with the goal of retention efforts.

Students were given the opportunity to give feedback after each day of camp in order to reflect on their time at STEAM Discovery Days. 92.5% of these young people were able to portray something they loved about what they had learned through either drawing a picture or writing a sentence of a reflection page. Some specific responses were as follows, “What I loved about today, was making paper circuits. I learned electricity can go through pretty much anything”, “I loved being all messy and doing earthquake tryouts”, and “Learning can be fun!” Youth also spent the summer learning about different jobs in STEAM related fields and one day reported that some of their dreams jobs related to what we had learned about include a zoologist, an engineer, an archeologist, a gardener/greenhouse worker, a sea biologist, and many more. Overall, responses were very positive towards this summer educational program.

STEAM Discovery Days were led by the UW-Extension, Buffalo County 4-H Youth Development Summer Intern Cassie Kees, with the leadership of MCYC staff Joanna Trujilo, Skylar Kitchner, Bella Halverson, Katie Halverson, Josh Close, Tori Ross, Abby George, Kendra Gilreath, and Haley Poeschel, along with youth counselor Josh Linse. A special thanks to 4-H Youth Development Educator Annie Lisowski for helping plan and coordinate the program. Thank you to all the parents who brought their children to this fun filled program.

Caption: Colin Rud, Skylar Kitchner, and Braxton Larson building a structure with withstand earthquake level shaking.

Caption: Anna, Alivia, and Elsie Pichler along with Loreali Crandall are using Strawz Connetors to efficiently move water from one place to another.

Caption: Haley Poeschel (pictured on far right) engages youth in learning about ancient artifacts. Youth pictured from left to right include: Anna Pichler, Lindsay Negus, Indigo Jeckelen, Noah Ebben, and Zac McDonough.

Caption: Youth pictured left to right (Ethen Odegard, Anna Pichler, Elsie Pichler, Halle Thomas, Ava Poeschel, Alivia Pichler, Jack Jacobson, Chris Schofield, and Adley Ebben) learned how to construct different models of paper airplanes along with adding weights and making adjustments to allow them to fly better.

Caption: Sadie Negus and Elsie Pichler use teamwork to complete some helpful worksheets on topography mapping.

Caption: Brooklyn Thornton and Hazel Corriea work together to build a UV-protective shelter for their UV-sensitive bead animal.

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