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Jumping into the future at Ivy Tech's College for Kids
Program gives kids a taste of a college campus along with a healthy dose of summer fun

By Joshua Boucher
July 6, 2010

Learning didn’t stop at the end of the school year in Bloomington.

Ivy Tech Commuity College’s College for Kids program has encouraged area middle school kids to keep their minds active while having fun. College for Kids classes offer a wide variety of subjects, from animation to rocketry.

You don’t have to be a NASA scientist to shoot a rocket. Jeff Lapore has taught kids how to shoot rockets for years, and now is an instructor with Ivy Tech’s College for Kids program. Kids learn about building rockets, how to measure how far they travel and how to measure their speed. Each student designs and builds his or her own rocket, which is fitted with small engines that can send them hundreds of feet up into the air.

Chemistry was one of the most attended classes in the four-week program, which ended Friday. Instructor Jane Goodwin’s style of instruction is inspired by Steve Spengler, who in her words “teaches teachers to be amazing.”
Her class, called “Shazam Science,” teaches chemistry through explosions and geysers. One experiment created a Mentos and Diet Coke geyser. Student Satchel Wyatt explained the geyser happens because “the surface of the Mentos has pores that suck in the bubbles, which makes pressure so it shoots out.”
When asked if flavored Mentos would work, he said they would not because they are too smooth.

In Curt Shedlak’s World War II history class, friends Sarah Graves and Miranda Lewellen had fun learning about one of their favorite subjects.

“I like (the class) because some books just don’t tell you why this happened of that happened,” said Sarah. “And that makes it more fun” added Miranda.

College for Kids also allows kids to experience things they might not be able to do at home. Instructor Tony Feller has run the Bloomington Robotics Club for four years. Now, he teaches robotics at the College for Kids program.

“You can run up a thousand dollars in a single robot,” he said. The huge cost of some robotics kits makes it hard for schools to maintain, and even harder for some students to afford. Through this program, kids’ dreams of robots can be realized.

Abby Gosset fires off her Mentos and Diet Coke geyer, one the the camp's experiments.
Joshua Boucher | Herald-Times

Jeff Lepore’s class watches as a rocket soars skyward. Joshua Boucher | Herald-Times

Tyler White and Stepan Holtman begin assembling the otor for a robot that can grab tennis balls.
Joshua Boucher | Herald-Times

Nathan Umphress launches his rocket. Umphress has taken several College for Kids classes.
Joshua Boucher | Herald-Times

A rocket heads to the wild blue yonder. Joshua Boucher | Herald-Times

Copyright: 2010