Arts and Science Camp Focuses on Kids' Creativity

Article excerpt

ATLANTIC BEACH -- Kid fun in the '90s isn't always battery

packed.

Children at Rachel Marcus-Hendry's recent arts and science camp

sampled a curriculum based on cutting-edge theories of learning

mixed with old-fashioned fun.

During two week-long sessions, 36 children did what kids do

best: they wondered aloud and created.

They also held tornadoes in bottles, watched animal dissections

and hypothesized together.

Marcus-Hendry, an educator and mental health counselor,

developed the summer enrichment program based on the theory of

Multiple Intelligents developed by Harvard University professor

Howard Gardner.

Gardner suggested there are at least seven areas of ability or

intelligence, but condemns modern interpretations of

intelligence when they focus only on verbal and

logical/mathematics areas. The camp curriculum was designed to

stimulate all seven areas of intelligence in the children,

Marcus-Hendry said.

The campers' experience, however, wasn't theoretical; it was

practical. The kindergarten through secondgrade students took

part in the Explorers program. The third- through fifth-graders'

program was called Brain Quest.

At mid-morning, with classical music playing softly in the

background, older children quickly swept through their

dictionaries looking for words that began with the prefix octo.

They discussed the meaning of the words they found as an

introduction to the day's big fun -- dissecting an octopus.

Alex Anderson, a 10-year-old from Atlantic Beach, had previously

seen a frog dissection. He was glad to add the octopus to his

repertoire. He joined the camp after his younger brother came

home raving about it after the first day.

"I didn't know we would do so much fun stuff," Alex said.

"We've made edible aquariums, done experiments and now the

octopus.

"I've never touched one before . . . We probably do more than

other kids in camp."

Marcus-Hendry and her assistant, teacher Sally Frisbie, tried

to maximize the campers' experiences by guiding the children

toward discovering new ground.

"There's a lot of selfdiscovery going on here, and cooperative

learning. These children are really seeking for knowledge,"

Frisbie said. …