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Starting Smart with STEM Camp
Starting Smart with STEM Camp
Posted on 07/16/2019
Two rising kindergarteners shine flashlights on construction paper bats.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

The Class of 2033 is getting a solid start at West Buncombe Elementary School.

At STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Camp, rising kindergarteners learned new vocabulary and science concepts through fun-filled lessons and self-directed learning activities. Teachers introduced them to the rhythms of elementary school, preparing them for a smooth transition once the school year starts.

“This camp integrates literacy and STEM themes, and it eases anxiety by showing preschoolers that school is fun,” said kindergarten teacher Shanna Buckner, one of the camp leaders.

Last week was all about bats. Buckner and fellow kindergarten teachers Christin Payne and Patricia Cain taught children how to tell the difference in appearance between megabats and microbats, as well as what they eat and where they live. The children learned a song about echolocation, made their own clay bats, and went on a “bat safari” around the classrooms. This week, they’re learning forces in motion – how animals move and how pulleys and planes work. The camp’s activities involve all five senses, improve vocabulary, and promote social-emotional learning.

“Kids are naturally curious, so we’re helping them engage with the world,” Ms. Payne said. “They learn so much, and they also make new friends. It’s a great experience for them.”

Principal Brian Chandler credited STEM Camp with raising West Buncombe’s beginning reading levels to some of the highest in the county over the last six years.

“It’s free, helps kids get ahead, and builds relationships among school staff and parents,” he said. “It helps us ensure that these students succeed.”


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Parents can sign up for STEM Camp during kindergarten registration, held in the spring. Tours are available at West Buncombe and other BCS schools upon request throughout the school year! Simply call your neighborhood's community school to schedule a time. Find your school today!

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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