E.A.S.I. resumes summer science camps for local youth

Contributed Photo: From left, Caddy Bigler, Jackson Rowley, and Owen Mackey examine their solar-powered car during the EASI Summer Science Camp.

Contributed Article/Courtesy EAC Discovery Park Campus

SAFFORD – Eastern Arizona College – Discovery Park Campus hosted the 2021 Eastern Arizona Science Initiative (EASI) Summer Science Camp. The annual STEM camp was held Monday through Wednesday, June 28 – 30, and offered an amazing Summer Science Camp opportunity with 50 students in sixth through ninth grades from school districts throughout Eastern Arizona. All involved were excited for the science camps to resume after having to skip last year, and they wanted to make the 2021 EASI Summer Science Camp the best and most fun possible.

Contributed Photo: Allyson Anway shows the Geode that she opened.

This year’s camp focused on “fun and learning”, and was demonstrated with the camp’s fun T-shirt logo of Einstein sticking his tongue out. The students participated in a wide variety of fun STEM-related activities and lessons like “Geology Rocks!” with Debbie Pearson, Safford Middle School Science Teacher, who taught how to identify rock types and even helped them to crack open their own geodes to discover the crystals inside.  Students designed catapults and experimented with kinetic energy in “Can You Save Fred?” with Heather Dillman from Fort Thomas High School. Dr. Phil McBride, EAC Dean of Instruction and Chemistry Instructor, taught “Radioactivity!” and shared an activity with Solar Print Paper, where students made beautiful pictures by placing natural objects on the paper and exposing it to the sun. The paper underwent a chemical change when exposed to sunlight and created a permanent print.  Becky Booth from Duncan High School shared “Biomimicry!” where students identified nature and animal features that are used in industrial designs to improve performance and function.  Mrs. Booth also shared a “Primary Colors” lesson using M&Ms to learn how our eyes work in different colors…or don’t!

Contributed Photo: Sophia Mackey scored first place in the archery event with 27 points.

Rachel Allred, Thatcher Elementary School teacher, shared “Finding the Fun in Math!” with cool card games and activities. Ethan McBride, Thatcher High School Biology Teacher, shared “Chemistry Adventures!” where the students learned about reactions and got to make and take home “Oobleck”, a fun putty-like substance to observe unusual reactions to pressure. Paul Anger, Director of the EAC Discovery Park Campus and Director of the EASI Summer Science Camp, shared a lesson on “The Physics of Archery”, where students learned the principles of archery and had a competition to determine the best archer of the camp – Sophia Mackey won the competition with a high score of 27 with three arrows!

At the conclusion of the camp, the students enjoyed a special presentation in EASI’s giant StarLab Planetarium with a lesson on astronomy and a look into the planets in our Solar System. They also attended an exciting presentation by Aaron Burke, EAC Biology Professor, to learn about, see, and even touch several different types of native animals including a tarantula, turtles, a king snake, and gopher snake, and even a Gila Monster! It was a great time and everyone enjoyed it. All Camp participants received an Awesome Einstien T-shirt, backpack, prizes. and lots of take-home activities. 

Paul Anger, Director of EAC Discovery Park Campus and Director of the EASI Summer Science Camp thanks “our friends at Freeport-McMoRan through the employee payroll deduction program and the United Way of Graham & Greenlee Counties for sponsoring and funding these amazing STEM camps, and the EAC Discovery Park Campus for the great facilities and hosting the camps.” 

“The annual Summer Science Camp is a great opportunity for youth throughout Eastern Arizona to meet, have fun, and learn STEM lessons and activities from amazing local educators,” Anger said. “Our main goal is to strengthen interest in STEM and pursuing higher education classes, and eventually pursue local careers that involve STEM in the industry!” 

Contributed Photo: EAC’s Discovery Park Campus recently hosted the annual EASI Summer Science Camp.

For more information on the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative’s Summer Science Camps and activities contact Paul Anger at the EAC Discovery Park Campus at (928) 428-6260.

To view a photo album from the camp click here.