The STEM Outreach Center at New Mexico State University is offering both in-person and online camps this summer for middle school students in the Las Cruces, Gadsden and Hatch Valley school districts. Among the virtual camps being offered is Building Our Local Ecosystem by Nature Matters, which will focus on building an ecosystem from the ground up. | Photo courtesy NMSU
Area middle-schoolers can participate in in-person and online summer camps offered by the STEM Outreach Center at New Mexico State University.
The camps will run weekly from June 7 through July 23. All camps are half-days with morning and afternoon sessions.
“We are offering 12 different camps this summer for a wide variety of interests, including drones, engineering, hiking, nature, programming and zombies,” said Paige Wheeler, program specialist for the STEM Outreach Center.
One camp, Moving Montañas Outdoors, will meet in person at the La Cueva picnic area near Dripping Springs. Campers will go on easy hikes and explore local wildlife and plant life. Hikes and activities will be led by local experts from Friends of the Organ Mountains.
Among the virtual camps being offered is Building Our Local Ecosystem by Nature Matters, which will focus on building an ecosystem from the ground up. Campers will participate in building, drawing and photography.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the camps were only offered online last summer. This year, students exiting grades 5 through 8 in the Gadsden, Hatch Valley and Las Cruces public school districts may participate in up to two camps in person or online, but only one in-person camp per week in accordance with the New Mexico COVID-Safe Practices for Day Youth Camps and Programs guidelines.
Maximum camp capacity is 10 students per in-person session, and 20 students per virtual camp session. Officials with the STEM Outreach Center said all in-person camps will follow the New Mexico Red to Green Framework guidelines, and may reduce the number of in-person camp spaces depending on Doña Ana County’s status when the camp starts.
In-person camps will take place on the NMSU Main Campus unless otherwise specified. Virtual camp sessions will meet on Zoom, and materials will be provided for each camp. Login details and materials pick-up times will be sent at least one week before the camp starts.
The camps are free and funded by local and state grants providing out-of-school-time programs to K-12 students.
Author: Adriana M. Chávez – NMSU