EAC Discovery Park hosts the 2023 E.A.S.I. Summer Science Camp for Local Youth

Contributed Photo/Courtesy EAC: Students enjoy the EASI Summer Camp activity at EAC’s Discovery Park Campus.

By Paul Anger – Director of EAC Discovery Park Campus

SAFFORD – The Eastern Arizona College–Discovery Park hosted the 2023 Eastern Arizona Science Initiative’s (EASI) Summer Science Camp!  The annual STEM camp was held Monday through Wednesday, June 12-14 with 50- 6th through 9th grade students from school districts throughout Eastern Arizona. 

This year’s camp theme was “Exploring the Pieces of our World!”, and included over a dozen lessons and activities that demonstrated the diversity of plants, animals, forces, and mysteries of our natural world. 

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The students participated in a wide variety of fun Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) related activities and lessons like; “Animal Oddities!” with Cameron Mower, EAC Biology Professor, who highlighted the “superpowers” of animals around us.

Chris Carrell, Thatcher Middle School Robotics Teacher, taught “Adventures in Robotic Exploring!” and shared an activity with natural forces with Cartesian Divers and air rockets. Students also created an “informational quilt” after discovering and exploring unusual and amazing animals found throughout the world – that are hard to believe are real – with Tawnie Anger, from Pima Jr. High School. 

Students also explored the wonderful benefits of technology in our daily lives with a fun – and messy – activity called “Diaper Duty!” with Heather Dillman from Fort Thomas High School.  EAC Anatomy & Physiology Professor, Tammy Gillespie, shared “Forensic Fun!” a lesson on identifying the physical trails left by humans with lots of great examples and activities.

Ethan McBride, EAC Biology Professor, shared “Tower Race!” using natural forces – and no hands, students learned to cooperate with others to design and create towering cup piles.  Chris Cook, Thatcher High School Biology, used the latest in technology to track down and identify an errant gum chewer through their DNA with “Who Done It? – The Beauty of DNA!”.  

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Retired Safford Middle School Science Teacher, Debbie Pearson, shared a lesson learning about rocks and ended with painting positive messages and leaving them where others would find them.  Paul Anger, Director of EAC Discovery Park and Director of the EASI Summer Science Camps 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 (Hope Perez, who won the competition with a high score of 14 out of 15 with two Bullseyes!) Kyler Decker and Jack Bryce both shot scores of 12 out of 15 that required a “shoot off” with Kyler taking the 2nd place spot.    

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 at what it will take to return to the Moon! They also participated in an exciting presentation by Nathan Cline, 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!

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It was a great time and everyone enjoyed it.  All camp participants received an awesome “Exploring the Pieces of our World!” T-shirt, backpack, prizes, and lots of take-home activities.  Light breakfast and lunches were served by the Safford Unified School District’s Meal Program to make sure the campers were happy and ready to learn. 

Paul Anger, Director of EAC Discovery Park Campus and Director of the EASI Summer Science Camp expressed a heartfelt Thanks, to “the United Way of Graham & Greenlee County for providing funding to share these amazing STEM lessons and activities with our local youth at the camp.”

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“We really appreciate our friends at Freeport-McMoRan who donate to EASI through the employee payroll deduction program, Safford Schools for the great meals, and Eastern Arizona College for hosting the camps at the beautiful Discovery Park facilities. The annual Summer Science Camps are a great opportunity for youth throughout Eastern Arizona to meet together, have fun, and participate in great STEM lessons and activities from amazing local educators.” 

“Our main goal is to strengthen interest in STEM and higher education opportunities, and hopefully pursue local careers that involve STEM.” 

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For more information on EAC Discovery Park or the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative (EASI) activities please contact the EAC Discovery Park Campus at (928) 428-6260 or email: discoverypark@eac.edu, or go to www.eac.edu/discoverypark