Having so much fun learning

Charles Warner | The Union Daily Times

On the first day of the Activity Fun Camp at USC Union, the children taking part in the camp learned about engineering and divided into two teams to begin designing structures which were later tested to see how strong they were. Here one of the teams begins using the construction paper, tape and scissors they were given to build their structure. One of the teams built a structure that was able hold more than 180 pounds.

Courtesy photo

Children participating in the Activity Fun Camp at USC Union prepare to launch the planes they assembled and decorated. The children not only built and flew the planes, but also learned about wind conditions, lift and launch and the mathematics of measuring. During the week-long camp the children took part in a number of activities that were designed to be both fun and educational.

Charles Warner | The Union Daily Times
Fire Commander Larry Robinson of the Union Public Safety Department shows children taking part in the Activity Fun Camp at USC Union some of the equipment carried by one of the department’s fire trucks. The presentation on firefighting was one of several the children enjoyed during the week-long camp.

UNION — For most children, summer is a time for having fun, but for the nine children who took part in this year’s Activity Fun Camp at USC Union summer has been a time to have fun learning.

The Activity Fun Camp is an annual program offered by USC Union to children ages 7-12 and is held on campus at the Founders House at 122 North Church Street. This year’s camp was held from Monday, June 29-Friday, July 3 with each day featuring six hours of activities designed to be both fun and educational for the children taking part.

As he has in the past, USC Union Continuing Coordinator Bill Moore oversaw the camp which he said went very well with the children enjoying themselves, including one child who enjoyed it so much he wants to take part in next year’s camp.

“It went well, we had a great camp,” Moore said Monday. “It was great, dynamic group of kids. They had fun learning, and I got an email from the mother of one of them who said her son wants to sign up for next year because he had so much fun.”

Moore said enabling the children participating to learn while having fun doing so is the goal of the Activity Fun Camp which he said is so named because it mixes fun, play and team activities with learning in areas such as technology and science.

“They learned about fire and heat, how heat expands air and can be used to make things fly or inflate,” Moore said about one of the activities the children got to take part in. “They had sky lanterns and they learned how the heat causes them to rise, but also how the wind can cause the heat to escape.”

Moore said that the week’s activities also included a presentation on venomous snakes and insects by USC Union Health, Safety and Security Officer Tony Gregory. He said that Frank and Jean Pennas of the Union County Beekeepers Association did a presentation on bees, bringing with them live bees and the gear beekeepers wear when working with bees. There was also a presentation involving a tracking dog from the Union County Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 Unit.

Other activities offered during the Activity Fun Camp included a presentation on firefighting by members of the Union Public Safety Department that included a fire truck, the firefighting equipment it carries, and turnout gear warn by firefighters. There was also a Computer Scavenger Hunt; decorating and assembling planes and an airplane toss competition; a visit to the Union County Museum; games of kickball and dodgeball; a game of hide and seek in the Main Building; and a movie.

The children attending also studied engineering and, using the information they received, divided into teams to build structures made of construction paper. They then tested these structures to see how much weight they could hold with one team achieving surprising results.

“We talked about engineering and design of structures that can support weight,” Moore said. “We talked about different shapes and how the shapes distribute weight. We talked about what could happen with cylinders and different shapes like triangles, squares and honeycombs.

“They were given construction paper, tape and scissors,” he said. “We didn’t tell them what to build, just to use what they’d learned and one team built a structure that supported more than 180 pounds before it gave way.”

The children taking part in this year’s Activity Fun Camp were Bryson Weaver, Brianna Ndemeye, Ross Dochterman, Hayden Tesner, Nathan Weaver, Malachi Gibson, Tyger Suggs, Hannah Paschall, and Austin Paschall.