MAILED: June 25, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- From sculpting with clay to learning about the composition of everyday materials, about 220 grade-school children participated this month in the first 1997 Summer Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
This was the 20th year of the program, which was started by a group of parents interested in enrichment classes for their children during the summer months, said Sharon Hildebrand, outreach program manager of UW-Extension.
"They (parents) came to the university looking for an organization to coordinate and sponsor education enrichment for their children," Hildebrand said of the program's start.
Teachers for the Institute come from Eau Claire and surrounding areas such as Chippewa Falls, Bloomer and Altoona. About 24 UW-Eau Claire students also participated as teaching assistants.
"This gives the assistants an excellent opportunity to observe and be involved in classroom planning and instruction," she said.
A few classes have changed over the years, Hildebrand said. Organizers try to keep up with trends and watch for innovative ideas from area teachers.
One unusual course added to the program this year was titled "Medieval Art and Puppetry," she said. Students learned about the medieval period through a form of popular entertainment, she said.
A class also was taught to show students how to use the Internet effectively, she said. Parents were invited and showed how it can be used as a positive tool.
Another course, which was recently added to the program, was titled "Better than Magic." This class gave students an introduction to chemistry. It familiarized them with the physical and chemical components of everyday materials, Hildebrand said.
The second session will run June 30 to July 10 at Park View School in Chippewa Falls.
Applicants for the Summer Institute included many students from the Chippewa Falls area so another session was added, she said. The second session will be larger with more than 700 participants.
Again, teachers will be from surrounding areas and classes will be for grade-school children. Some of the courses for the second session will be the same along with additional classes.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 2, 1997