EdVenture's College for Kids/College Bound program fills the Laulima Building lobby with laughing, giggling and even music during a day of active learning on the University of Hawai'i Maui College (UHMC) campus.
"Adults visiting the Continuing Education building are likely to see fourth- to 12th-graders bringing high-volume energy into the halls," said College for Kids/College Bound Program Development Coordinator Joanne Doell.
Doell acts as the greeter, supervisor, nurse, teacher and general "Mother Hen" for the students in this unique, experiential program.
College for Kids/College Bound students use kid-centered text to learn how to be the best at taking notes, studying, editing and making projects more creative and fun.
Parents receive phone calls about what to bring for the three- to-five-day learning camps, as well as assurances of constant supervision for their keiki and teens.
Each day, Doell sends a newsy email to each parent summarizing the day's activities, with reminders of what's coming up the next day. She also shares the new vocabulary words students have been exposed to for reinforcement by the parents. Her recounting of student's overheard comments give parents a sense of what exactly happened during the day.
In addition, parents are welcome to sit in on classes to see for themselves what's happening.
College for Kids will offer camps during intercession weeks and the summer and Saturday classes beginning in June.
"But these aren't the typical 'sit-and-get' classes students may be used to in their regular schools," said Doell. "All classes are hands-on, experiential lessons designed for maximum smile-factor and learning that touches all modalities," said Doell. "It all turns out to be just plain fun--but with serious purpose and sequential interactivity."
"Our camps this summer will offer two- to five-day experiences based on different grade levels," said Doell. "Because our classes usually group students by age or clustered experiences in grades four through six, six through eight and nine through 12, configuration fear is reduced and the comfort level increases as students learn with their peers."
"We fill the morning with the theme-of-the-week classes while kids are fresh. We fill the afternoon with chess, art or music or dance, guest speakers and walking field trips around campus."
Doell's focus over the last few years has been to integrate technology into all classes wherever possible.
"Kids and teens have a natural love of technology, and we present them with challenges, stretching their ideas, imagination and possibilities as a natural part of the College for Kids experience," said Doell.
This year, College for Kids is offering full-on Science/STEM & Personal Best camps.
"My Personal Best" teaches four ways of taking notes and how to study for any subject. In "Me: The Maker Generation," students will make electronic circuits, program microcontrollers, affix electronics to clothing, explore robotics, 21st century manufacturing and 3D modeling and printing. "STEM Week: Yipes! Swoosh & Bzzttt!" will include experiments in electricity, speed and magnetism. In "Leggo My Lego!" students will engineer their own Lego projects. (For a full list of classes, visit www.edventuremaui.com.)
Students begin their weekday at 8:30 a.m. and classes usually finish at 4 p.m. With an average class size of 12 to 15, students receive plenty of teacher attention and opportunities to work and learn in groups.
During Saturday classes, students can learn while parents have the opportunity to shop at the Maui Swap Meet on campus.
Careers and college goals are a constant thread that run through each camp. Teachers working for College for Kids share their own educational level and a "mini bio" of their own career journey to the present.
"We aim to demystify the college experience with real-life stories from our instructors and trips to programs on campus," said Doell. "They visit the SLIM Community Garden, the audio and TV studios, the Ka'aike distance-learning classrooms, The Learning Center and the student lounge to discover how college has changed from even their parent's experiences."
"Each moment they have exposure to what work is like in the real world gives them insight into possible careers," said Doell. "And they begin to understand that they may be doing work in the future that may not even have a description or title now, because it is yet to be invented. But these careers will be waiting for those with the best skill sets to fill the position."
In addition to their integrated classes, students have the opportunity to make friends with students from all over Maui--from public, private and home schools. Breaks and lunches are held in the lobby of Laulima, where learning continues as students challenge each other in chess, Scrabble and other games.
In 20 minutes, they're on the way to new friendships and other points of view in the kid/teen world.
Doell said the most exciting part of the program is listening to students consider various careers as they find out about job descriptions, educational requirements and salary ranges in their online research.
"EdVenture is proud of our seven years of bringing creative and enrichment classes to Maui's youth," said Doell.
Space is limited, so enroll early.
Class schedules and tuition information are available at www.edventuremaui.com (the College for Kids & Saturday Fun Series buttons).
For more information or to register, call EdVenture at 984-3231.