This summer, Montana NSF EPSCoR helped support adaptive water-based activities at the Inclusive Community Camp (ICC), hosted at MSU by the Department of Education. ICC is a summer day camp that has been carefully designed both for children with additional support needs – including those with Down syndrome and autism – and for those without additional support needs. MSU education students, who are students serving in the online, rural-focused Master of Arts in Teaching program, serve as camp guides to the elementary school-aged campers, developing valuable leadership and mentoring skills along the way.
This year, ICC campers were given science notebooks to draw and make observations throughout the week. Students engaged in multiple activities centered around the water cycle, including water cycle exploration stations, a states of matter water hunt, and setting up evaporation, melting, and sinking and floating experiments. They also sang the water cycle song and made their own water cycle baggies to help see how water moves.
Many activities were also centered around bodies of water at MSU, including the Duck Pond. The ICC campers first made various water and animal art projects, including drawing a turtle and a fish, then used pocket microscopes and hand lenses to examine water and identify macroinvertebrates in the pond. They also made pond scum slime, designed and tested a boat, and wrapped up the week with a Water Olympics field day.
Montana NSF EPSCoR is excited to have supported ICC this year and hopes to continue to help in years to come!