Red Bluff, CA â€“ Twenty-nine students from Tehama County participated in a week long camp at the Shasta College Tehama Campus, June 23rd through the 27th, to get a hands-on education in water science and drought. The students were split into working groups and throughout the week had to create a public awareness campaign related to a water issue. The week cumulated in each group presenting their campaign to their friends, family and community members on Friday evening.
Public awareness campaign topics included: State-Wide Water Conservation, Irrigation, Preventing Oil Spills to Help Keep Marine Life Clean, Drought Awareness, Water Conservation for Home Owners, and Water Conservation for Schools. The posters for these campaigns will be displayed throughout Tehama County for the rest of the summer.
â€œI am so glad that we were able to provide this experience for these students,â€ said Lauren Tingley, an advisor for the UC Davisâ€™ GEAR UP program in Tehama County. â€œAs a high school student I remember being interested in science, but having limited opportunities to learn about different careers in STEM. My 10th grade biology teacher at West Valley was the person who encouraged me to get my bachelor’s degree in microbiology, a field that at the time I didn’t even know was an option. During this week students were able to learn about careers and degrees related to geology, hydrology, recreation management, watershed management and chemistry; opening up an entire world of opportunities.â€
Along with developing the public awareness campaign, the week included a field trip to Whiskeytown Lake and Shasta Dam, daily science experiments, water olympic games, and guest speakers that included a wastewater treatment expert, an environmental education and watershed expert, and irrigation systems specialists. A team from Washington State University, Vancouver, also came to assist the students in creating an augmented reality display of the information gained throughout the week, which was shared with their families and community members at the Friday night celebration.
When asked if the camp influenced their college and career goals, Caleb Delong, a student participant, said, “Yes, this week has encouraged me to go pursue a career in science.” Another student, Ariana Serrano, said that her favorite part of the experiments was “Working with my teammates!”
The day camp was coordinated by the College OPTIONS UC Davis GEAR UP program, which helps students prepare to enter and succeed in college, and the program was developed in partnership with the Shasta College Tehama Campus, Tehama County Department of Education, Tehama County Resource Conservation District, Expect More Tehama, and the Job Training Center.