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The City Journals

Juan Diego Summer Camps Aimed to Inspire, Teach Participants

Jun 09, 2016 09:42AM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]com

Juan Diego Catholic High School will offer summer camps in science, multimedia and sports to help teach participants skills as well as inspire them to become more involved in the activities.

 “Parents are looking for students, young kids to older kids, an educational learning opportunity and a way to keep sharp during the summer, and Juan Diego is offering summer learning that is fun, exploratory without homework, where they can be intrigued and want to do more,” Juan Diego Director of Advancement Molly Dumas said.

 For more than eight years, Juan Diego’s Academy of Sciences has offered Explorations in Science Summer Camp for middle school students. Themes change yearly, but this year’s studies will include ecosystems, physics, engineering, chemistry, environmental science and astronomy. The day camp will run from Monday, June 6, through Friday, June 10.

 “Students can be intrigued by science, get inspired and learn more about what interests them,” Dumas said.

 Vicky Simpson, who coordinates the camp, said the camp started since teachers identified several sports camps, but not many where students could explore the science field.

 “This is science without taking notes from a book or having a quiz. It’s a chance to explore different fields through hands-on activities,” she said. “We want them to see the science and math is everywhere and that through this inquiry and exploratory camp, science is fun.”

Teachers from several different schools as well as the University of Utah College of Engineering help decide the curriculum. New this year will be the study of ecosystems, where students learn adaptation, classification and identification of plant specimens from Utah habitats including wetlands, forests and deserts. Campers will learn about native fish and estimate populations of organisms through a simulation of capture-recapture method. 

Ecosystems will come into study when the campers study environmental science, learning that Utah produces 113 percent of the national average of trash daily, Simpson said. Through a field trip to the Trans-Jordan Landfill, students will learn about recycling and the environment. 

Other field trips include learning about space and teamwork at the Discovery Space Center in Pleasant Grove and studying physics with light and optics and application of waves at Laser Quest.

 “Students will learn a lot about problem solving as they’re given a scenario and need to react and think on their feet. Both the space camp and engineering have been popular with the campers in the past, so that’s why we brought them back. With engineering, students will learn problem solving as they work together in construction and design, testing, redesigning and retesting. It’s real-world application they’ll experience,” Simpson said.

 The week will include chemistry, such as learning the composition of money through experiments.

 “Some of the kids explore branches of science for the first time and really take an interest in it. It has inspired some students to look deeper for science fair ideas,” she said.

 The camp is supported through the Skaggs ALSAM Foundation, which subsidized camp tuition. For the week, the cost to participants is $150.

 Three sessions of the Soaring Eagle All Sports Camp will be offered beginning June 6 for boys and girls ages five to 11. Each session is one week, Monday through Friday, and runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The camp will be offered in two locations: Juan Diego and St. Vincent de Paul School in Murray. The cost is $150.

 “The sports camp helps kids stay active during the summer. It’s understandable for parents to plug in a movie or give the kids a device since they have so few days off, but this camp will engage participants to learn the rules of sports, team building and sportsmanship. It will also give them a chance to be introduced to other sports,” Dumas said.

 Juan Diego will offer a digital multimedia camp offering 3-D printing this summer.

 “The camp will offer access to some new technology. As with all technology, when it is introduced at younger ages, it will become secondhand to them when they are in high school and college,” Dumas said.

 For details on the digital multimedia camp and registration materials for all camps, contact Juan Diego Catholic High School.