|Parker Legerski, 10, of Cheyenne, discusses the roller coaster the children just built with a classmate. LCCC's SEEK program offered the Rip-Roaring Roller Coasters class and others during the June SEEK classes. SEEK will will continue this week with different classes. Photo by Ty Stockton. See below for more photos.|
The children gathered around the miniature roller coaster watched intently as the marble made its way down the many twists and turns.
Once the marble stopped, the children laughed and clapped, breaking the silence in the room.
“Wow, that was awesome,” one of the children said, smiling. “Your marble went down fast.”
The tall roller coaster was among several the children set up on the floor in a miniature amusement park setting as part of the final day of the Rip-Roaring Roller Coasters class. Laramie County Community College’s Life Enrichment program held that class and others as part of the June 15-19 weeklong Summer Education Experiences for Kids (SEEK) activities.
SEEK provides a fun and educational learning environment for children ages 5-12 years old and is offered twice during the summer. The next set of weeklong classes will be July 6-10.
“I’ve been teaching the children how to cut out the different templates to build their own roller coasters,” teacher Kristi Sullivan said. “They then build their own roller coaster by adding support beams and different tracks. They’re also learning different physics principles such as inertia and potential energy.”
For the children, it was all about the fun. The coasters they built were different colors, sizes and shapes, and had names like The Awesome Not, Hello, Magic Mountain and Twist City.
Parker Legerski, 10, who built Twist City, said he enjoyed the class.
“It’s something fun to make out of paper,” Parker said. “Then when you’re finished, you get to send a marble down your roller coaster to see if it works. I wanted to take this class because I like engineering stuff.”
Besides the roller coaster class, the June SEEK classes offered a variety of other topics from creating designs out of duct tape to learning more about the bones in the human body. For the July SEEK program some of the same classes will be offered but there will also be new ones available.
|A child shows off his dinosaur during the Dig-N-On Dinos
SEEK class. Photo by Ty Stockton
“Many of the classes offered fall into the categories of physical education, science and the arts,” said Nicole Sackrider, program manager for Life Enrichment. “They’re very hands-on classes. We get anywhere from 900 to about 1,200 students each year, and that’s combined enrollment for both weeklong classes.”
The purpose behind the SEEK program is to encourage children to learn and to enrich their lives. Most of the instructors are certified teachers who bring years of classroom experience to the program.
“Every year the SEEK program seems to become more and more popular because we provide a meaningful education,” Sackrider said.
The students who participated said they enjoyed the classes they picked and want to return next time.
Aiden Weinzierl, 10, of Cheyenne, participated in The Hero in You! Creating Comic Books and Cryptozoology classes because of his interest in both subjects. This is the fourth time he’s participated in the SEEK program.
“I’ve been really interested in fake creatures and super heroes,” Weinzierl said. “I really like the manticore because it’s a bird with a lion’s head.”
For twins John and Stephen Quigley, 8, of Cheyenne, the chance to save the world and create their own superhero was the reason they enrolled in the Superhero Academy class.
“My superhero is Dinoman,” John Quigley said. “He’s a dinosaur who can change into a human. He’s really cool.”
Although Stephen Quigley said he enjoyed creating Wolfman as his superhero, he also liked his other class – Bones, Brains and More.
“Your brain controls everything in your body, and without it, you would walk funny like this,” Stephen said, walking in a rigid motion to prove his point.
Brothers Colby Stockton, 11, and Logan Stockton, 10, of Hillsdale, both signed up for Ultimate Dodgeball for their morning class. Colby also took The Sport of Fencing and Logan took Making Waves in the afternoon.
“I just did an epic dodge this morning,” Colby Stockton said. “Someone threw the ball high at me so I got on my knees. Then someone threw it low so I jumped. Then they threw it at my side so I dodged to the other side.”
For Logan Stockton, the swimming class meant he could get some time splashing around in the pool while honing his swimming skills.
“I really like to swim because you can go underwater,” he said. “It’s fun because you don’t have to walk.”
A.J. Legerski, 12, of Cheyenne, also took the fencing class and enjoyed his time learning more about the art of fencing and practicing his moves with his friend, Colby.
“I did it last year and it was fun,” A.J. Legerski said. “The teacher taught us how to hold the foil. I’m learning so much this year, and I can’t wait to show my parents.”
For Hannah Adams, 7, and Aaron Gallant, 9, both of Cheyenne, the classes helped them learn something new as well.
“I liked the Mad Scientists because I like explosions and I like school,” Gallant said. “I’m also an athlete so I like the games in my other class.”
People can visit the SEEK Web page to learn more about the program, how to enroll and what classes are offered.