One of the distinguishing characteristics of VAMPY is the campers’ opportunity to study a single subject in depth. Campers explore multiple facets of a topic in a variety of methods. When I visited three classes today, I discovered that campers have been doing just that: learning in ways that are not traditionally accessible in their classrooms back home.
I found the members of the Nazi Germany and the Holocaust class in the computer lab working on their research project, with their focuses including medical experiments of Nazi doctors, women in the Holocaust, Hitler Youth, and Nazi propaganda. The campers used their time in the lab to begin their groundwork for a five-page research paper and a PowerPoint presentation on the topic of their choice.
Another class also utilized the computer lab today to conduct historical research. The World Biographies class looked up information for their debate on the “World’s Most Influential Person Competition.” Each camper examined several historical figures to decide in a tournament-form which individual has indeed made the most significant mark on history. I am personally interested to see what the class will conclude after all of their research!
The last group I saw today was the Writing class. When I entered the classroom, the campers were engaged in a lively dialogue about essays they had read the night before. The selections came from an anthology called Sticks and Stones and Other Student Essays. The campers discussed not only the surface storyline of the essays but also their own interpretation of the pieces. They examined two types of narratives to prepare for their own writing.
The amount of learning I witnessed through these classes made me excited about what the campers will accomplish during the next three weeks. The instructors, the teaching assistants, and the campers are working together to ensure that VAMPY is a success in all the classrooms. VAMPY is off to a wonderful start, and I know the classes will continue to become even more interesting in the days to come!