TRI-CDC Summer Camp Offers Insight Into 2016-2017 Preschool Program


Research to Practice • Practice to Research

TRI-CDC Summer Camp Offers Insight Into 2016-2017 Preschool Program

August 12, 2016

By Taylor Leech

Two young children at a toy workbench, both are wearing safety glasses, on is wearing a hard hat.


For the second year, the TRI Child Development Center (TRI-CDC) hosts a summer camp for children ages 30 months through 8 years. This camp is a fun place for children to learn about the world around them, while discovering science, exploring nature, and engaging in the creative arts.


This year’s summer camp is a STEM Adventure! STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Each week the children explore a new theme related to an element of STEM. They are making good use of playgrounds, the community, and special guests from across the WOU campus to help enrich their camp experience.


Five children and one adult sitting round a craft table doing an experiment with plastic liter bottles

The topics covered in this year’s camp include:

  • Water in our world
  • Plants
  • Color
  • Shadows
  • Buildings
  • Ramps and Pathways
  • Sounds
  • Technology


Four children standing outside around a long white plastic trough, playing with water.


Shadow on the grass of a child who seems to be dancing

When asked about her favorite camp activity, the CDC’s Co-Director Carey Gilbert had a difficult time choosing just one! One of her favorite activities pertaining to plants and color; the children placed white daisies in colored water and observed how the flowers used their stems to carry the water up and change the color of the petals. For the topic of “Water in our world” they manipulated the flow of water by using sand to create dams. They also learned all about shadows by attempting to catch the shadow of a kite.


Parents and teachers alike, strive to provide children information about the world around them. “By using STEM curriculum," says Gilbert, “teachers are able to focus their energy on specific areas of exploration. We use this focus combined with following the child’s natural curiosity and partnering with parents to deliver high quality education.”


Transitioning into the next program year


A young girl holding small wooden stools


Transitioning into the next program year, the CDC hopes to connect and become more involved with the WOU campus and community. One way they plan to do this is through the use of the WOU garden. They would also like to invite experts, such as WOU professors, into the classrooms and utilize their knowledge to collaborate on and expand the curriculum.


The primary goal of all the work at the TRI-CDC is to encourage the children to use their developing abilities to work well with others, make thoughtful choices, and acquire new information through their play.



Five children sitting around a crafts table playing with small balls and sticks on trays.

The staff at TRI-CDC would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the following faculty and parents for supporting STEM Summer Adventure Camp: 

  • Dr. Erin Baumgartner (Associate Professor -Biology), Julie Grammar (Biology Lab Preparator) and James Dawson (Instructor -Environmental Education) for their invitation into the science lab, introduction to leaf pack experiments and sharing materials for the classroom.
  • Beeb Singson (Earth Science) who shared the water stream table and earthquake simulator to support our “Water and Buildings” curriculum. 
  • Dr. Cindy Ryan (College of Education – Teacher Education) for her continued support of STEM curriculum with her creative ideas and materials for “Ramps and Pathways”
  • Patrick Aldrich (TR Program Assistant) who played guitar and taught some science songs to the children. 
  • Lauren Ryan (Student Parent) who visited the classroom and shared the Math LED light board
  • Erin Murphy (Community Parent) who shared some pots and pans to support the “Sound” curriculum. 
  • Kevin Hughes (Landscape Maintenance Coordinator) for sharing brick, straw and sticks to support our “Building” curriculum.
  • And to all of the parents who have joined us during campus activities!



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