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Get Real! Science Camp spans rural waters

Get Real Science Camp Spans Rural Waters This Summer
Sodus Students Stay Afloat of Lake Flooding Issues Through Hands-on Inquiry

Lake Ontario shorelines have been hit hard by flooding in recent months. But for some Sodus students, it has become their quest to study and address these local water problems relevant to their own community.

Thirty-eight Sodus students in grades 5-8 are taking part in a weeklong summer camp, called Get Real! Science, running July 20-27.  Led by graduate students who are training to become science teachers at the Warner School, the Get Real! Science Camp is being offered for the first time ever, in partnership with the Sodus Central School District, to students outside of Monroe County. The camp is an extension of the Summer STEM Program regularly offered to Sodus students each year. The Summer STEM Program is the brainchild of Warner alumna Ellen Lloyd ‘10 (EdD), principal at Sodus Intermediate School.
Get Real! Science CampThe new partnership brings students from Sodus Intermediate School over to Sodus Point to tackle these lake flooding issues and more. Equally important, Warner graduate students studying to become science teachers are able to move toward a more authentic, inquiry-based approach that makes learning science exciting and meaningful for children. 
These soon-to-be science teachers are guiding Sodus students in acting, thinking, and working like real scientists on relevant problems in their own community. Students are also learning what can be done to tackle real-world issues.
Get Real! Science CampSodus students are being guided through several research activities throughout the week, including understanding erosion at Sodus Bay, investigating invasive species and protecting the environment, and developing an action plan for flooding.  A portion of their time is also spent back in their science classrooms, where they continue to investigate questions about and formulate solutions to these local problems.
Students will then present their findings and recommendations to the community and key stakeholders, including the Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District, for improving the current conditions on the camp’s last day, July 27, from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m., in the gymnasium at Sodus Elementary School (6264 NY-88, Sodus, N.Y. 14551). The event is free and open to the public.

“We are fortunate to be able to extend the successful work of the Get Real! Science Camp beyond Rochester this summer to offer students in rural schools the same chance to tackle real scientific problems outside of the classroom,” says April Luehmann, associate professor at the Warner School. “Encouraging students to act and think like scientists and to dig deeper into science by asking meaningful questions is important in today’s world that is faced with a growing number of environmental concerns. It is our hope that students complete camp with a positive vision of science and with a sense of accomplishment as they work toward making a difference.”

The value of inquiry-based science education—or doing science to learn science—is affirmed as a solid method of teaching and learning throughout summer camp and the remainder of the 15-month science teacher preparation program, known as the Get Real! Science Program, which the Get Real! Science Camp is part of. The Get Real! Science Program, created a decade ago by Luehmann, is grounded in authentic experiences that include the summer Get Real! Science Camp, Science STARS (Students Tackling Authentic and Relevant Science) program, and more.