Local students attend Summer STEM Camp at Chauncey Ranch

June 19, 2023
Gila Herald

Eastern Arizona College partnered with the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative to host the eighth annual STEM Camp at Chauncey Ranch, near Mayer, Arizona. Fifty students in grades 7-10 from Bylas, Duncan, Fort Thomas, Green Valley, Mesa, Pima, Queen Creek, Safford, Surprise, and Thatcher attended the three-night high adventure camp.

Students were divided into three groups, each responsible for one day’s flag ceremony and retrieval of the colors. A highlight on Friday occurred when students from Bylas and Fort Thomas recited the Pledge of Allegiance in Apache as part of their flag ceremony. During the week, each group rotated through twelve activities: stream and pond ecology, an equine activity, fundamentals of archery, a “Low Ropes” course, a geology activity, mapping the digestive system using Ozobots, team building, and leadership, using the senses to observe nature, and even a “Zombie Escape Room.” The students also participated in Knockerball and archery competitions. On the last evening, all campers joined together for a talent showcase.

Camp staff included the Chauncey Ranch staff and local educators, including Becky Booth from Duncan, Ethan McBride from Thatcher, Phil and Paula McBride from Thatcher, Heather Dillman from Fort Thomas, Monica Clarine from Safford, and Paul and Tawnie Anger from Pima. These individuals taught many of the activities throughout the week, supervised each morning’s flag ceremony, hosted the evening talent show, and chaperoned the campers. Student participants were able to make new friends, overcome challenges, and work together in teams while learning about science, technology, engineering, and math.

Funding for the camp was provided by a grant from the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties. Eastern Arizona College, EASI, and the camp staff and participants express gratitude to the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties and extend thanks to the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, Freeport employees, and other sponsors for making this camp possible.

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