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Science on the Move
Science on the Move
Posted on 07/25/2019
A student pours water into a funnel.A collage showing students in the Migrant Education Program taking photos and doing science experiments.

By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

BCS students are enjoying a summer of science.

Science on the Move, an eight-day summer camp at UNC-Asheville, provides camaraderie and a collegiate atmosphere for sixth- through 12th-graders in the Migrant Education Program (MEP). Funding for the summer camp comes from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

This year’s theme, “Environment Matters,” focused on water quality, soil erosion, pollution, wildlife, environmental remediation, and more. Students explored the rich natural habitats on UNCA’s campus and learned how to use scientific equipment in campus labs. They also learned the basics of filmmaking, audio engineering, and photography.

Noah, a rising sixth-grader at C.T. Koontz Intermediate, attended camp for the first time this year.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “There's lots of hands-on stuff, like we got to catch crayfish in the creek. We put on some boots and looked under rocks. Then we caught them with nets.”

Abby, a rising sixth-grader at Joe P. Eblen Intermediate, said she recently started getting into biology. She was excited to attend a summer camp centered around science.

“I learned about the animals that live in the creeks, and that’s really cool,” she said. “I didn’t know you could have a summer camp about science. I love it.”

That’s music to the ears of BCS Migrant Education Coordinator Ina Gonzalez Jones. MEP staff assists migrant farming families who frequently move with seasonal work and must navigate differing state standards. Such educational disruptions can lead to learning gaps, and MEP camps and activities help bridge the divides.

“Science comes naturally to kids,” Gonzalez Jones said. “We want these students to imagine themselves as scientists and get that collegiate experience.”

The kids worked in college classrooms and labs, learned from college professors, ate lunch with college students, and used sophisticated equipment.

“The kids have so much fun,” said Dr. Irene Rossell, Chair of the UNCA Environmental Studies Department. “But the parents are happy too. Their kids are out there learning new things. They’re doing experiments. They’re learning the Scientific Method.”

MEP’s “Environment Matters” theme will continue into the school year. Students will go zip-lining to learn about forest ecology, visit Linville Caverns to learn about the water table and underground habitats, and visit the Knoxville Zoo to learn about animals. They’ll also take part in an online science club that will help them stay in touch and continue to learn together.

More information about the Migrant Education Program.

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,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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