The Austin College Challenge Thinking Camp 2022 involves 65 Grayson County elementary students this week as the College’s Education Department’s future teachers lead students in the focus “The Built Environment: Then and Now.” This is the 16th year for the summer program that grew from an idea of Austin Teacher Program faculty member Julia Shahid and Cyndi Petray, a teacher at Jefferson Elementary at the beginning of those years.
The camp is now held at Neblett Elementary and runs from 8 a.m. to Noon July 18 through 22. Students will look at the issues involved with the development of a city—discussing the services and facilities necessary for a well-run city: police, fire, utilities, streets, etc., as well as the factors that influence how the city develops and expands.
The students also will explore how cities have changed over time and how the structures of the city may have changed. Some of those historical changes will be examined through a field trip to Frontier Village where students will experience hands-on activities designed to address these questions.
The Austin College education students teach the camp each year using curriculum that they have developed specifically for the summer session. The curriculum includes both science and social studies competencies, with a heavy focus on integrating the two areas in ways that encourage students to critically process information.