The Sheboygan Area School District Summer School program offers a wide variety of classes for students. Not only are students engaged in learning throughout the summer, they are taking some pretty interesting classes and having lots of fun.
The Rocketry and Flight class is always a popular summer school class. This year, the class is taught by Mr. Nick Wilson and is open to students entering first grade through eighth grade. Students will have an opportunity to build and fly straw rockets, paper rockets and different kinds of paper airplanes. The class is designed to inspire excitement and scientific thinking, through hands-on activities and experiments.
Alicia uses the two-liter bottle launcher to test out her paper rocket.
Among the most popular and well-attended classes are fine arts offerings. Elementary and middle school students can choose ‘Art’Astic classes and Photography, as well as Strings, Band, Orchestra and Glee. The first and second graders enrolled in ‘Art’Astic at James Madison Elementary School with instructor Ms. Tara Zimmerer, had been hard at work creating animals using a variety of different materials. The students created paintings in the first part of the class and then moved on to create plaster sculptures of animals. Each student used their own ideas and creativity to design their animals.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt, and it’s also a Summer School class where students learn about latitude and longitude, how to use a GPS, and how to follow coordinates, all while enjoying the outdoors and getting a little exercise. Geocaching is offered for students entering grades 4 – 9, but it is an enjoyable activity for people of all ages. Some of the students I talked to in the class had been geocaching before. For others, this class was their first experience. But the entire group agreed that they would all like to do more Geocaching after they complete the class.
The group let me tag along while they found a cache in Veteran’s Park in Sheboygan. Each student entered the coordinates into their GPS device, which led them to the general area where the ‘cache’ is hidden. Then the students searched the area to find the container, marked as an ‘Official Geocache’. Students signed the log, which will always be found in a cache, and often there are also small items that previous visitors have left. As part of the class, students were able to bring along small items to place in the cache in exchange for an item they took out. One student showed me the Chinese finger trap he found in the cache.
The students will also participate in multi-caches where students find one cache, which will give them the coordinates for another. The culminating activity for the Geocaching summer school class is an adventure at Terry Andrae State Park, where students will compete in an ‘Amazing Race’ to find caches, complete activities and following directions to finish first.
If you want to try out Geocaching on your own, visit the official website at www.geocaching.com
. A quick search of zip code 53081 returned 750 caches. There are a variety of free apps available to download on your iPad, iPod or smartphone.