Science is focus of summer camp in Holmes County

*This story first appeared in The Budget’s June 6, 2018, Local Edition.

By Stacey Carmany
The Budget

While school may be officially out of session, educational opportunities continue at West Holmes High School during this year’s Holmes County Summer Science Camp.

This year’s camp is June 18-20 and includes three full days of fun and interactive sessions designed to provide summertime learning opportunities for students completing grades 4-9.

“The mission is to encourage students to participate in science, technology, engineering and math with an activity,” said retired West Holmes Gifted Education teacher Bonnie Trubee, who serves as the camp coordinator. “Rather than needing to go off to some different location at more expense, we try with a nominal fee for students to be able to participate.”

As part of this year’s camp, sessions are scheduled in electronics, engineering, math and logic, biology, computers, chemistry, robotics, ecology and environmental science, all presented by community volunteers with a passion for sharing their knowledge and expertise with the next generation.

“We very much appreciate them doing that and giving of their time as their way of giving back to the community and to help provide something locally so parents don’t have to drive a great distance,” Trubee shared.

For this year’s electronics class, the camp will welcome back local inventor David Bayer who will be joined by project designer and former science camp attendee Aaron

Rennie to help students build a handheld melody synthesizer. “They do something that requires soldering and learning a little bit about electricity and making something,” Trubee explained.

The three-part class is titled Build a Microprocessor Controlled Melodymaker and runs all three mornings of the camp from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

For students who do not have an interest in the Melodymaker class, several alternate sessions will also be offered during the same time slot.

On Monday, Cory Baker from the Holmes County Engineer’s Office will be joined by staff from Diversified Engineering in New Philadelphia to present a dynamic session on drone surveying technology for students who have completed grades 6-9. During the session, participating students will learn how drones are used in mod- ern surveying, and each class mem- ber will get a chance to fly the drone outside while recording videos and pictures from an iPad.

Also on Monday from 9 to 11:30 a.m., Thomas B. Gregory, a professor of mathematics at Ohio State University at Mansfield, will guide a third group of students through a series of puzzles and brain teasers during a session titled Feed Your Brain: Math Logic Puzzlement.

Alternate sessions for Tuesday morning include the Fidget Spinner STEM Challenge, during which students will engineer a fidget spinner from Lego and Technic pieces and develop a plan for manufacturing and marketing their creations, and a chemistry session titled Make-It- Yourself Bath-Body Products, during which participants will combine acids and bases to make fizzy bath bombs and more.

Wednesday morning offerings include a look at local wildlife during a session titled “What’s Outside Your Back Door?” led by Holmes County Extension educator Janessa Hill and an introduction to water quality facilitated by Holmes

County Soil & Water Conservation District technician John Lorson.

Lorson will also be leading a second water quality session on Wednesday afternoon during which students will evaluate the test results from water samples collected during the morning session.

Robotics is another popular topic among young learners and will also be the focus of several sessions being offered as part of this year’s science camp. “Students will create LEGO robots that they can program and learn how to manipulate the code so the robot can make certain movements, turns, forwards, backwards,” Trubee explained.

This year’s robotics sessions are scheduled for Tuesday morning and afternoon and will be led by Kathy Blackford, an educator at OSU’s Ashland County Extension.

Additional offerings for this year include a biology session titled “Surprising and Amazing Discoveries” led by former West Holmes teacher Bonnie Lee Agawa and Danville High School science teacher Brian Ackert and “Fun with Computer Programming” led by Andy Barr of Altair Engineering.

The Holmes County Summer Science Camp is coordinated by the international teachers association Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG) and sponsored by the West Holmes

School District. It is open to all area students enter- ing grades 5-10 this fall including homeschooled students, and students do not need to reside in Holmes County in order to participate.

For a complete schedule for this year’s camp and registration forms, visit the West Holmes website at or stop by the Holmes County District Public Library’s Central Library at 3102 Glen Drive in Millersburg.

A $30 per student registration fee is due with the application along with any material fees for selected classes. Course fees are $15 for the Melodymaker session; $5 for Surprising and Amazing Discoveries and Make-it-Yourself Bath-Body Products; and $20 for the session on water quality testing.

Applications are accepted up until the first day of the camp, but because class sizes are limited, students are encouraged to register as soon as possible. For more info, call Trubee at 330-674-3377.