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Elise at home learning with Virtual ExCEL Academy

The Virtual ExCEL Camp

We have had so much fun and developed so many friendships through the Virtual ExCEL Academy, the American Printing House for the Blind is ready to go one step further! With the changes for many people regarding gatherings of large groups and summer camps we are offering the Inaugural Virtual ExCEL Camp from mid-June through mid-August.

The Virtual ExCEL Camp will include a live hour at 2:00 ET, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and is free to all registrants. Also included will be five at-home extension activities for the camp theme. Virtual ExCEL Camp will be separated by age/grade groups. Because we know students are not always able to attend during the scheduled hour, we will be recording these sessions so all have the opportunity to learn. Please register your students with their needs and levels in mind. Students will receive a camp shirt and other APH goodies.

Week of August 17: Serious About Science (SAS): STEM — Upper Elementary School

  • CAMP AUDIENCE:   Upper Elementary School

    DESCRIPTION: There are many natural events that occur in our world including earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and tornados. In this three part webinar series we will explore engineering feats that defeat these natural disasters, starting with earthquakes. Participants will learn what causes earthquakes, what engineering techniques have been used to make our houses and buildings strong during an earthquake, and how to be safe during and after an earthquake. As the final activity, participants will engineer their own tower and test it for stability. Can you withstand the shake of the quake?

    Instructor:  Cheryl Hannan, Professor

    Instructor:  Johna Bogue, Lower School Science Teacher

    Instructor: Paris Behmardi Lamarra, Teacher of the Visually Impaired District, CA

    Student teacher:  Susan Drake, Student at Missouri State University

    PRIMARY CORE OR ECC AREA:  Engineering, Math, Science, Self Determination, Health and Safety

    PRE-REQUISTE KNOWLEDGE: Listening and following directions

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

    Participants will be able to explain what causes an earthquake.

    Participants will be able to describe what safety measures should be taken before, during, and after an earthquake.

    Participants will describe creative engineering techniques that help buildings withstand earthquakes.

    MATERIAL NEEDED:   – 40 pieces of uncooked spaghetti, masking tape-(2 yards vs meter), string (two pieces of 3 feet of string), one large marshmallow, and cookie tray.

  • CAMP AUDIENCE:   Upper Elementary School

    DESCRIPTION: Part 2 of the Natural Events Webinar Series: Volcanoes are fascinating! Did you know that a volcano can create an island, bury a forest, or blow off the top of a mountain? Volcanoes can cause rare, but powerful forces that can change the landscape of the earth. Participants will learn about different types of volcanoes and create one of their own. As a final activity, participants will discuss what it takes to be safe in a place where there are volcanoes. What do you do during the disruption of an eruption?

    Instructor:  Cheryl Hannan, Professor

    Instructor:  Johna Bogue, Lower School Science Teacher

    Instructor: Paris Behmardi Lamarra, Teacher of the Visually Impaired District, CA

    Student teacher:  Susan Drake, Student at Missouri State University

    PRIMARY CORE OR ECC AREA:  Science, Self Determination, Daily Living Skills

    PRE-REQUISTE KNOWLEDGE: Listening and following directions

    LESSON PLAN GOAL:  Participants will learn about various animal adaptations related to vision.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

    Participants will be able to name and describe 3 different types of volcanoes.

    Participants will be able to describe what safety measures should be taken before, during, and after a volcano eruption.

    Participants will describe 3 safety tips for people who live in a place with volcanoes.

    MATERIAL NEEDED:   – clay or play dough, plastic bottle (e.g. 12 oz.), baking soda (⅔ cup; divided in two), dish soap, and vinegar (oz.). Optional: food coloring. Also, funnel or construction paper/cardstock/thick paper (to make a funnel) and pencil (to help poke all the baking soda into the bottle). Cookie tray.

  • CAMP AUDIENCE:   Upper Elementary School

    DESCRIPTION: Part 3 of the Natural Events Webinar Series: Tornadoes are extraordinary! With powerful winds that can tunnel through a prairie and carve new pathways, these twisters can be alarmingly serious. Tornadoes have been known to uproot trees on one side of the road and not the other. How can that be? Participants will learn what causes a tornado and how to be safe during the natural disaster. As a final activity, participants will discuss what engineers have done to create tornado proof homes and buildings, and they will create their own tornado proof home. Does your engineering withstand the whirl of the twirl?

    Instructor:  Cheryl Hannan, Professor

    Instructor:  Johna Bogue, Lower School Science Teacher

    Instructor: Paris Behmardi Lamarra, Teacher of the Visually Impaired District, CA

    Student teacher:  Susan Drake, Student at Missouri State University

    PRIMARY CORE OR ECC AREA:  Engineering, Math, Science, Self Determination, Health and Safety

    PRE-REQUISTE KNOWLEDGE: Listening and following directions

    LESSON PLAN GOAL:  Participants will learn about various animal adaptations related to hearing.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

    Participants will be able to explain what happens during a tornado.

    Participants will be able to describe what safety measures should be taken before, during, and after a tornado.

    Participants will describe creative engineering techniques that help buildings withstand tornadoes.

    MATERIAL NEEDED:   – container for water/large bowl or 9×13” cake pan, clay or small container of playdough, popsicle sticks, construction/braille paper, tape, water and a fan.

Virtual ExCEL Camp instructors

Thank you to all the instructors who completed the form for the Virtual ExCEL Camp. We will be contacting those selected the week of May 18th. We will reach out to all instructors during this year in the hopes of continuing to offer virtual activities for students.

Interested in who’s teaching? See a complete list of our instructors here.

Observation

We also know that many educational professionals as well as college students preparing to enter the field have been participating in the webinars to watch teachers at work. You may register for weeks you wish to observe as this is still allowed for the Virtual ExCEL Camp. Remember, you are able to observe but please stay in the background just as if you were in a physical classroom. We will not be able to provide you with a shirt but we are looking into the availability of ACVREP credit for this type of activity.

Virtual ExCEL Academy

Did you miss our Virtual ExCEL Academy lessons this spring? It’s not too late to join in the fun. You can view recordings of all of our offerings on our Virtual ExCEL Academy YouTube page.