News story published by Iosco County News-Herald (8.21.2018). Story narrative, as follows:

TAWAS CITY – Tawas Area Middle School ran its inaugural Summer Learning Camp this summer for fifth through eighth grade students.

The program was implemented by two middle school teachers, Erin Klinger and Laurel Baird, and ran four days a week for four weeks. The focus was primarily on growing mathematics skills and keeping the mind sharp over the long summer break. However, the teachers said many more discoveries and life skills were integrated. 

During the first week the students spent time at Neiman’s Family Market, Tawas City, exploring the concepts of budgeting and finding the better buy. “The Neiman’s crew was so helpful and supportive, we cannot thank them enough,” said Baird. 

The second week of camp took the explorers up and down Newman street where they participated in a geometric scavenger hunt. The students used school-issued iPads to take photographs of geometric figures found in the real world. 

They were given a surprise side experience on this day when they ran into Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officers tagging ducks. Baird said the DNR officers were more than eager to talk to the students about what they were doing and demonstrated the procedure of duck tagging.  

During the following week, with the help of retired teacher Paul Hay, the students used their measuring and fraction skills to make bat houses. 

To finish off the Summer Learning Camp the two teachers and handful of students took their travels to Tawas State Point Park where they had the opportunity to meet and work with Brandon Schroeder, a member of MSU Extension. 

With the aid of the iNaturalist app, the students and teachers became citizen scientists walking the coastal wetland area of Tawas Point and learning about and logging plant and animal species. However, the highlight of the Point adventure was when Schroeder was able to net and tag a monarch butterfly. 

“Thanks to the help of all the people involved, the program was a huge success and will only grow,” said Baird. “We already have exploration plans for next year in the works!”

Created on Friday, April 10, 2020