Skills to last a lifetime

  •  Lexie Mitchell, left, takes a spatula from teacher Kim Batten as she prepares to fold oven-baked eggs during a transitions class. The class, for older students, taught life skills such as cooking and social interactions.
  • Brandon Davis, guided by teacher Catherine Courtney, reaches for an egg as he prepares to crack it into a mug. The kitchen work was part of a transitions class at the camp.
  • Young students play xylophones and a tone bar to mimic sounds of animal characters as a teacher reads a story.
  • Older students work on an electric circuit project. Clockwise from left are Brandon O’Connell, Ryder Sanderson, Alex Eller and Darrin McKeag. The students also used computers to research recipes, then made chocolate chip cookies and ice cream.

ISVI hosts 5-day camp focused on STEAM

Story and Photos by Julie Gerke

Cracking an egg into a mug and then stirring it with a fork may not be a big deal for most of us, but it takes some practice for children with low or no vision.

That lesson — along with cooking the scrambled eggs on a stovetop, in an oven and in a microwave — were among many learned life skills, social skills and just plain fun for students who attended a recent STEAM camp at the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired.

The camp, for students ages 9-19, used science, technology, engineering, art and math to explore everything from music to cooking to making new friends.

It was the first in-person camp since the longtime program took a pandemic hiatus. The theme of “175 Years of Change” reflected the school’s 1849 founding.

Activities during the five-day camp included bowling and swimming; movies, music and art; cooking eggs, hotdogs and s’mores; field trips; building vehicles from Legos; making a compass; learning interview etiquette; performing skits; and learning yoga.

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