Students in the Animated Imagination class at the summer Enrichment Camp at the Rockdale Career Academy took images for their "Dancing M&Ms" 30-second stop motion animated film. Pictured, from left, are Priscilla Mundy, Annie Alderson, Satchel Williams and Destiny Johnson. Staff Photos: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith
CONYERS -- Nearly 200 students took time away from their summer break to return to the classroom this week.
Students in second through eighth grades are spending the week learning about Italy, Georgia, science and technology, exotic foods across the world and forensic science, among other topics, in the summer Enrichment Camp for Rockdale County Public Schools.
Some of the newer classes proved popular this summer. Animated Imagination to study basic animation and Soaring with S.T.E.M. to explore science, technology, engineering and math each boasted enrollments of about 60 students each. The returning forensic science class Who Dunnit? also enrolled about as many students, and the Viva Italia class to celebrate Italian culture through food and the arts entertained about 40 students.
"The kids really enjoy it," said Katy King, who helped lead the Viva Italia class.
Second- and third-grade students in her class made Venetian glass vases, Italian foods like calzones out of biscuit dough and Italian wedding cookies and even learned a song and dance to perform at their Italian feast on Thursday.
Other elementary school students studied creative writing and electronic publishing, making animated films and solving a mystery in the forensic class.
In the S.T.E.M. class, second- and third-grade students kept busy by studying body parts and nutrition, learning about inventors and inventing products, learning about computer safety and building a mini computer, building Egyptian pyramids and towers and holding a math tournament.
Middle School students in the Cooking Up Culture class learned more about exotic foods from around the world, including Africa, South America, Italy and Asia. They made North African lamb kabobs, sushi, pizza and fajitas this week.
"It's very creative," said seventh-grader Travis Flores. "I like to try new foods."
Rising ninth-grader Melissa Sharpe took the class for the third time this summer.
"I like to experience new cultures and new foods," she said, adding that she's tried out some of the recipes at home by making some meals for her family.
The camp currently charges a $50 fee to cover expenses; it is open to students who were invited by earning a 3 or 4 on their standards-based report cards. Camps generally are held during intersession breaks at RCA.