Arts and Science Camp Focuses on Kids' Creativity
Steinke-McDonald, Ronda, The Florida Times Union
ATLANTIC BEACH -- Kid fun in the '90s isn't always battery
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
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,
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
"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. …