This summer we welcomed all four cohorts of C2C students during the month of July. The grey and white t-shirts of Year 3 and 4 gave way to Year 1 and 2 red and black as July progressed, under the watchful care of our yellow-shirted camp counselors and coordinator, Edith Galvez.
C2C Year 3: Collecting polluted water samples
Led by SMU scientists Nate Lien, Josh Lallaman, and Moni Berg-Binder, Year 3 campers began their two-year science immersion experience learning about watershed management in rural (Winona) and urban (home city) environments, happy to have bulky waders as protection from the polluted waters of a Winona drainage ditch where they collected water samples for analysis back on campus. Their academic day also featured descriptive statistics taught by Kristen Sellke (math), and language arts class with Cory Hanson (SGPP adjunct instructor). A dystopian novel – where potable water was a scarce commodity with modern-day pirates and Blackwater space gangs vying for control – elicited statements of disbelief that water could ever become that scarce, until the students researched contemporary water issues around the world.
C2C Year 3: Field Trip to Cascade Meadow
At Cascade Meadow Environmental Science Center in Rochester students studied water management strategies such as permeable sidewalks and parking lot swales. The Cascade Meadows interactive displays of local water issues and solutions introduced them to the C2C two-year curriculum featuring investigation of urban and rural watershed ecology issues through a problem-based experience using STEM tools
C2C Year 4: Graduation Day
As a result of two years of the science immersion class, 19 of 20 students qualified for college credit for a 3-credit science elective, Introduction to Watershed Ecology and Management, which focuses on what beginning college students need to excel in science using spatial technology to provide the landscape context for urban vs. rural differences in watershed ecology. Collaboration between our partner-school teachers and SMU science, math and education professors was an integral part of this course, which featured extensive field explorations, data collection, analysis and synthesis. The course culminated in a poster presentation of an individually-designed water ecology research project, which the C2C graduates presented to their parents, instructors, University administrators, and Year 3 students.
Although they did not complain, Year 4 students had little time to relax during their last academic boot camp at Saint Mary’s: Besides the daily three-hour science class, they learned inferential statistics with Todd Iverson and scientific reading and writing with Jane Anderson. Scientific terms such as “p. value,” “hypothesis,” and “normal curve” were infused throughout their classes, leading to a great discussion about nature vs. nurture in incidence of reading failure in boys compared to girls.
Year 1 and 2 at work
Year 1 classes included reading with Susan Moore (Director of the Minneapolis MAI program), writing with Molly Lohnes (ESL writing instructor), vocabulary and grammar with Gus Garces (San Miguel Middle School), and math with Melissa Shields (Winona Public Schools). This college prep curriculum continued for Year 2 students, with SMU instructors Greg Gaut (history, retired), Peggy Johnson (Director, Writing Studio), Kevin Dennis (math), and Jen Monroe (SGPP adjunct instructor).
Year 1 and 2 at play
The cool weather and great organization by C2C camp counselors resulted in many opportunities for C2C students to enjoy recreational facilities on and off campus. Icebreakers on the lawn, swimming, soccer, and evening bonfires were favorite activities on campus. Canoeing at Lake Winona and dessert at the Lakeview Drive Inn, visiting the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, and bowling produced a sense of “familia” and promises to keep in touch via the C2C Facebook.
C2C staff at play
Led by Edith Galvez (C2C coordinator), our staff celebrated the end of four productive and busy weeks with a group photo. Given the long hours of leading groups to and from classes, organizing icebreakers and bonfires and supervising field trips, it’s amazing that they had the energy to pose midair for this celebratory photo.
C2C 2013 was a resounding success. Thanks to the support of our donors, Jack and Mary Ann Remick, we graduated 20 scholars who are well-prepared for academic success and confidence in negotiating campus life. Thanks also to our SMU instructors and partner school teachers who made this summer a fantastic learning experience for all of our students. And special thanks to Terrie Lueck, director of Conferencing and Camps, for helping us serve 89 students and two groups of parents in our first year of full implementation of our Countdown to College program.