“To infinity and beyond!” at space camp

Lisa Goudy
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Working with kids at the Western Development Museum (WDM) camps is an eye-opener for Daniel Odendaal.

Daniel Odendaal, a summer student at the Western Development Museum, watches as the kids play a game with balloons at space camp on July 31, 2014.

“As an education student, it has taught me a lot about flexibility, that everything cannot be planned out. You can have perfect criteria of what you want to do but it’s not going to happen,” he said.

“So you have to learn to be flexible and you have to be constantly in motion with it so that you can deliver the best material to the kids and engage them in the best way possible.”

Odendaal, an education student at the University of Regina, is one of two summer students at the WDM in Moose Jaw. On Thursday, six kids between the ages of five and eight gathered at the museum for space camp. The numbers were a bit lower than normal, but “with less kids, we get to do more. So it’s still a lot of fun,” said Odendaal.

The day consisted of learning about space and what astronauts do as well as crafts and games. All crafts had a space theme. Odendaal said one of the crafts was creating lunar paths. Shaving cream and white glue was mixed together and placed on a paper plate. The result is something similar to the surface of the moon.

This year is Odendaal’s first year working as a summer student at the WDM.

“It is lovely. I really enjoy it very much so. Every day is something new and the kids are a pleasure to work with,” he said.

The camps this week focused primarily on activities involving running around while other camps focused more on crafts.

“(We want) to just see which one works best and which one doesn’t,” said Odendaal. “(We’d like) to see how to balance it in the best way possible for future summer students as well as for next week’s camp and the camp after that. This is the midway point for camps.”

As for what the kids get out of these camps, he said that depends on the child and how much he or she wants to learn.

“If they want to have a day of fun, then they’re going to have a day of fun. If they want to learn things about space, then they’re going to learn things about space,” said Odendaal. “So it’s what they want to do going into it essentially. Hopefully they will leave with it.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: WDM, University of Regina

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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