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This Story is provided by The Herald Times

College for Kids adds fun to summer break

Program a partnership between Ivy Tech, city parks' Kid City

By Mike Leonard
331-4368 |
June 18, 2010

The foot-long rocket sat poised on the launch pad as a young voice called out authoritatively: “Three, two, one!”
In an instant after the launch button was pushed, Nathanael Carlson’s custom-made rocket swooshed up into the sky.

At its apex, the small craft separated as planned, but its parachute failed to fully deploy. Inside the rocket chamber, a June bug astronaut came down to earth hard.

“You just killed a proud member of the rocket society!” shouted Skylar Ernest, 13.

“I see a leg moving,” Nathanael said without emotion, examining the bug carefully.

The beetle would live to take another trip into the great unknown later in the morning. And Skylar would credit the bug for its recovery. “You know, if I was a beetle I’d be a little freaked, too,” he reasoned.

Thursday was launch day for the Advanced Rocketry class at Ivy Tech’s College for Kids. For the first three days of the week, eight students from age 11-14 built rockets and learned how they work, how to pack their parachutes and practice good safety from veteran science teacher Jeff Lepore from Sprunica Elementary in Brown County.

This week marked the second of four weeks of College for Kids, a partnership between Ivy Tech Community College’s Center for Lifelong Learning and Bloomington Parks and Recreation’s Kid City program.

The College for Kids program added 14 new classes this year, including four successive classes that take students on a chronological journey through World War II. Veteran Binford Elementary teacher and World War II historian Curt Shedlak is teaching each class.

“Curt’s passion for World War II is infectious,” said Susie Graham, director of the Center for Lifelong Learning. “Many students view studying the war with him as the high point in their sixth-grade experience.”

Classes are staged each morning at Ivy Tech’s main campus and then participants are transported to Rhino’s Youth Center to meet up with Kid City staff for lunch, games, field trips or swimming.

Ivy Arts for Kids is another program series going on through Aug. 13. Designed for children 5-11, classes at the John Waldron Arts Center include such topics as Native Art, Music to My Ears and Eyes, Diary of a Kid and Wearable Art.

Students participating in this week’s Advanced Rocketry class said they didn’t mind spending some of their summer vacation taking classes. “It’s fun. I like it,” said Nathaniel Kohlmeier.

And the secret to success? “Not to panic. And listening to your teacher,” he said. “Mr. Lepore told us stories about kids who didn’t listen and he’s been burned before. So nobody wants that to happen.”

Kelsey Umphress, 14, said it was a little intimidating when she arrived for class on Monday and saw that she was the only girl enrolled. “But I’ve enjoyed the week. Everybody’s nice,” she said. “I like doing hands-on stuff.”

More information
For more information about College for Kids or Ivy Arts for Kids, call 330-6042. To view information online, go to Tabs on that page link to information on each program.

Adrian Thompson launches his rocket at Ivy Tech’s College for Kids program while Advanced Rocketry instructor Jeff Lepore, Nathan Umphress, Nathanael Carlson and Brice McGarvey look on. Joshua Boucher | Herald-Times

Copyright: 2010