By The Talent Search Staff
Pamela Williams, Cynthia Jones, Margaret Mims and Maricha Neal
SummerPREP (Preparing a Rigorous and Educational Persistence Program) 2016 was a blast on the Utica Campus of Hinds Community College for more than 50 middle school scholars. The Talent Search (TS) program held its annual summer enrichment camp for three weeks to help scholars prepare for the next grade level in the fall. A strong focus this year was science, technology and mathematics (three of the STEM areas) and other interactive activities.
Let the learning began…..during the first week, students from the targeted counties, Hinds and Copiah, arrived on the college buses at 7:30 a.m. ready to learn, engage and eat. Getting to know each other was one of the main things the scholars wanted to do on the first day and week. Breakfast was provided by Valley Food Service and we traveled to Utica Elementary/Middle School each day for lunch.
Week two was smooth sailing for the TS Staff, teachers, student helpers and scholars. By now, everyone knew each other’s name and some of their behaviors. Math class was filled with system of equations. Example: p x + q = r; r and (p (x + q) )= r….Go Figure? They also worked on integer operations, slopes, and four math operations just to name a few! Technology was all about the computer, formats, MS Word, house designing, PowerPoints and presentations. Our scholars researched Global Warming, climate control and the greenhouse effect in Science class. Last but not least, the TS staff prepared our scholars and future leaders with goal setting, ACT Prep, brainstorming through games, activities, etc.
We are at the end…it’s week three! Presenters stooled to the Utica Campus to speak to our scholars about the challenges they may face in this thing called “Life.” Mr. Pamplin from the Department of Mental and Behavioral Health decided to speak on drugs, alcohol and peer pressure. Scholars used stimulator goggles to see what a DUI person encounters when they are under the influence of alcohol. Mrs. Barnett from Hope Credit Union came in to assist with budgeting your dollars. Mrs. Dorothy from Hinds Behavioral Health Services presented a Bullying PowerPoint. Mr. LaRoy Merritt and Ms. Ella Green provided an etiquette workshop. Mr. Merritt provided our young males with tie tying (bow and long) and how to dress for an interview. Ms. Green provided tips on skin care and body hygiene to our young ladies.
Mr. Jones from the Department of Human Service provided a PowerPoint on cyber bullying, texting/sexting, etc. Black and white were the colors of choice for our Awards Presentation. This program was all about the scholars from beginning to end. Kudos to them.
We completed the end of camp with one more presenter, a closing program and a fieldtrip. ALABAMA here we come! Once the scholars got over the shock of the buses being separated by genders they were ready to go! Our day started at 5:30 a.m. heading to Bishop College and the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center (GCESC) in Mobile. Breakfast and lunch was on the road. We began the Science Center with a mystery solving of Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower. From there we did Hands on Hall where our scholars built race cars from Lego blocks, launched a tennis ball with air pressure that they created, built chairs from pipes, etc. The fun didn’t stop there, BodyWorks/Be Healthy was informative with a beating heart undergoing cardiac arrest! What do you do? We tested our high jump ability, upper muscle strength and flexibility. We also calculated how long it takes to burn off that cheeseburger. Good Bye….Burger King!
Last, on our journey at GCESC was the IMAX film: “Great White Shark.” We actually felt as if we were under water with the sharks…AWESOME. We finished our evening with dinner at Golden Corral. Everyone was feeling a little drained (adults only). We all looked forward to our long 4 hour trip back to Utica, MS. Mobile owes us nothing….THANKS for the memories!
TRIO: Teaching, Reaching, and Inspiring Our Youths