The primary goal of any educational institution is to promote a passion for learning among its students.
At UW–Platteville, that passion is extended to children of all ages through the various community outreach programs that are held each year.
From July 8–11, the Office of Continuing Education will offer its College for Kids/Middle University program as a way for students in kindergarten through ninth grade to explore programs that emphasize the arts, science, technology and creativity.
Most sessions are held from 12:30 to 4 p.m. A two-day option is also available for grades three through nine only.
“Our goal for the College for Kids/Middle University program is to expose students to a whole new world they might not otherwise have an opportunity to experience,” said Beth Harbin, youth program coordinator for the Office of Continuing Education. “It’s about bringing different opportunities and topics to students and giving them a chance to meet others and form friendships.”
Classes are divided based on age group. Kindergarten-aged participants can enroll in Crafts for Kids or the Art of Puppet Making and explore creativity through hands-on crafts and activities.
Students in first and second grade can choose from a wider range of age-appropriate topics, including Kids and Cops, where they can learn about becoming a police officer, and the Oriental Express, which will give them a chance to explore Chinese and Japanese cultures.
Classes for grades three and four, among many others, include Rock Hounds, where students can explore minerals, rocks and fossils, and Native American Ways, where they will learn about Native American culture, play games and make toys.
Two options among many for grades five through seven include Claymation, where students will create a short video using digital cameras, PowerPoint and art supplies, and Earn your Wings: An Introduction to Aviation, where students will take a field trip to the Dubuque Regional Airport in Dubuque, Iowa. Grades eight and nine also have a selection of programs including 3D Video Game Design, which gives participants a chance to make simple 3D video games using an easy programming interface.
“Learning is a lifelong activity,” said Harbin. “If you find a passion for something at a young age, you will never stop learning. The students who attend our program get excited about a topic. They may go on to study it further and then might teach it to others. It’s a cycle of always changing, always growing and always adapting.”
Registration can be completed through the Office of Continuing Education office website at uwplatt.edu/cont_edu/college-for-kids/ or by calling 342-1314. More information about the program and sessions is available on the website.