La. 4-H’ers learn about science, technology at camp

Bruce Schultz, Boldt, David M., Page, Helen V.

News Release Distributed 08/09/13

POLLOCK, La. – 4-H’ers at Camp Grant Walker learned about outdoor skills and science on Aug. 5-9 with a program aimed at getting seventh- and eighth-graders interested in science and the outdoors.

For Byron Berrios, of New Orleans, the week had been just what he wanted. “I wish I could stay here for weeks,” he said after his turn at shooting a rifle. “It’s like school, but better.”

The week has two different curricula – Science, Engineering and Technology, or SET, and Louisiana Outdoor Science and Technology, called LOST.

David Boldt, LSU AgCenter instructor for science, engineering and shooting sports, said the SET program was started with the goal of keeping 4-H students interested after the sixth grade and to interest students in science and technology. “It’s career focused,” he said. “Every track in SET has a career focus.”

Forensic science had the attention of Faith Gonzales, of St. Bernard Parish. After all, she’s a fan of the forensic television shows, and she wants to be a private investigator.

“I watch them all the time,” she said of the television shows. “I have to watch them until the end, or I’ll be freaked out.”

Gonzales was learning about the science of blood spatters, using red-dyed water. But she also enjoyed a class called Hillbilly Jam that used pots, pans and garbage cans to make a percussion band. “I can’t make that much noise at my house.”

Over at the Hillbilly Jam, Kirsten Maze, of Abbeville, banged out a syncopated rhythm in perfect time. She was a natural because she plays clarinet in her school band.

Hayden McBride, of Iota, said the Hillbilly Jam was his favorite thing during the week. “I like the rhythm. I just get to make music with buckets.”

The LOST curriculum also has traditional camp activities, such as canoeing and archery along with riflery and skeet shooting. And plenty of time is available for swimming in the nearby creek or the swimming pool.

In the video class, Maddie Bordelon, of Plaucheville, was making a film – a remake of “The Little Rascals” – with Lauryn Wilkerson, of Vermilion Parish. Bordelon said it was the first time she had ever made a film, but she seemed to have found her niche.

“I have been told I’m pretty good with a camera,” she said. “And I love to write stories.”

In the kitchen, 4-H’ers were learning the science of cooking. Dishes they prepared were designed to teach them about how different ingredients react when heated or stirred or mixed with other things. The youth were learning the science of manipulating proteins to make soufflés, flan, pudding, cake and meringue – all with no mixes.

“We’re doing everything with eggs today,” explained instructor Helen Page, LSU AgCenter 4-H agent from Calcasieu Parish.

Bruce Johnson, of Arcadia, a wetlands instructor for the LOST classes, was in his 10th week at the camp, and his enthusiasm was evident. “I just like working with the kids most of all.”

The SET and LOST classes had a competition going. Every day, students crafted small boats. The SET class used modern materials while the LOST class relied on sticks bound with string. The boats raced on a small stretch of the creek that snakes behind the camp.

David Rhodes, of Union Parish, was proud of his boat, a sailboat with an outrigger, even though it came in second place. “It’s named the USS Cheddar because people call me Cheddar, and I built it.”

Bruce Schultz
8/10/2013 1:49:34 AM
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