“This was a triumph. I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS. It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.” -GLaDOS


 

Looking back on this wonderful experience, I cannot decide whether it has all gone by incredibly slowly or blindingly fast. At time, it feels like we’ve been working on this program for a month rather than a week. But seeing those scientists (campers) depart for the weekend, I found myself saying “It’s over already?”

Friday was certainly an awesome, yet chaotic, day for GRS! We started (and ended) the day with a very fun energizer (Ahhhhhhh Big Booty).

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From there, the sprint to the finish began. This being our last full day with our scientists, each team wanted to finish our presentations in time to give a dry run to the other teams. The plan was to work all morning on finalizing things, and use the afternoon to cycle through dry runs.

The White (Wind) Team, finished up a rap about the investigation (awesome!!!) and designed infographics thanks to the guidance of Ella (thanks again!).

The Blue Team had worked all week on making a video, reporting their findings about the beach. In addition, they designed a display of all of the scientific tools they had worked with over the week! Finally they made a factor map, connecting many aspects of the environment to different effects on the water.

The Green Team dug deeper into the concept of Factor Mapping. They pulled together a finalized version, with deeply thought out connections displayed. They also filled a Prezi presentation with an incredible depth of information.

Lunch came all too fast, I think, and we were all back together in our primary room. Here we all started with pizza as two guests from the chemistry department made liquid nitrogen ice cream!!! I found the final product delicious, and the science just as appetizing.

Immediately following lunch, the entire camp was shepherded downstairs to the classrooms so they might present to each other. This was the final stretch, and it was here that we leaders witnessed how far these scientists had come. Every team did an incredible job, and even the shyer individuals pulled through, using their visuals to present their thoughts. Each group seemed to improve the second time the presented, as the tension in the air began to disperse. Speaking to your peers may be thought of as low risk, but the teams were presenting to the only people they knew would also know about these issues.

I look forward to seeing them shine, as they share their discoveries on Monday, with people who know nothing about the safety issues of our beaches.

As the day closed, one final issue needed to be addressed; who won?!?!?! In the final act of the day, the team leaders did epic battle, using their elements to defeat each other (I got very wet…). Once all had fallen, Mother Earth interjected. She explained that the state of the beaches isn’t any one team’s fault, and it isn’t any one team’s responsibility to fix. The state of our environment is on all of us, and it is on all of us to do something about it. So, the battle against pollution continues.

As we headed out, at last to meet the bus, I found myself running into one of my team members. This young man was typically quiet and began his week resisting all forms of engagement. But day by day, and even hour by hour, I saw fascination and dedication emerge. He played a valuable role in the end analyzing our data, and writing the rap we would present to the public. I knew he had it in him, but still, he blew me away with his brilliance and passion. All I could say in that moment was that I was proud of him. I am proud of every single camper I worked with throughout the week, for I saw all of them grow from the experience.

I cannot wait until Monday to see all of this come together! Until then, “

Signing Off, E-N

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