Space camp expands, contracts with imagination

Logan Curtis | Daily Press

International Art Station camp instructor Kd Scruggs, left, and camp volunteer Emily Scearce, right, assist Sam Pollard on his art project.

The final week of the Robotics Academy of Critical Engagement Summer Youth Academies began on Monday, featuring another round of activities for kids to take part in.

International Art Station is a day camp that focuses on teaching students about art and its different aspects, using space as a conduit.

While there are a couple of outliers, such as the Minecraft and Hogwarts camps, most of the RACE camps are centered on the same theme. This is a way to keep students engaged and interested in learning.

"Most of our camps are related to space," said Stonewall Blackburn, camp volunteer. "While this camp is focused around art, we still teach the kids about space, such as planets or space stations."

One of the activities in which the kids partook was drawing and coloring a small film that would then be shrunk. Kd Scruggs, instructor of camp, said the kids always love this activity because of how unique it is.

"They're called Shrinky Dinks," said Scruggs.

"They're basically a type of film the kids can color on that shrink with heat. Sometimes they roll up and get crumpled during the process, but usually they go back to their original shape, just smaller."

This is Scruggs' second year teaching this class.

She uses her knowledge of art and space to make an interesting learning environment that students will enjoy and remember.

Sam Pollard, a student in the class, did not know what to say when watching his art shrink and reform, but he was definitely awestruck.

"This is so cool," said Sam.

The kids were then able to make necklaces, keychains and other accessories using the Shrinky Dinks they had just created.

This makes the project more memorable for the kids.

The next art project the students did was drawing and coloring the curvature of a planet. This was to teach them about perspective and how objects may look different, based on how they are observed.

"Look at your picture. Do the lines curve up or down?" asked Scruggs.

"They curve up because you are looking at the top half of the planet."

All five of Scruggs' space-cadet students were engaged throughout the entire lesson at NSU.

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