There are no television cameras, no immunity and no million dollar prize given to the last person standing, but Survivor: Biology Academy can be every bit as exciting and memorable for students attending the summer camp at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
The camp is a six-day, five-night adventure. There is one session for students in grades four through seven and another session for students in grades eight through high school. Both sessions employ group collaboration and experiential learning techniques with hands-on adventures in lab settings as well as outdoors. Participants engage in activities that focus on preparing for the Biology Subject Area Test.
“We operate under what is called ‘informal biology education,’ which is an informal way of explaining biological concepts,” explained Dr. Aimée Thomas. “Hopefully our student campers will be excited about the natural world – their environment – and as a result of the camp will become good stewards of the environment.”
Thomas explained attendees will spend time at the Lake Thoreau Environmental Center which is located a few miles west of the campus adjacent to the Longleaf Trace “rails-to trails” path. It provides an experience-based learning environment for students. Additionally, campers will spend time at Challenge Country in nearby Ellisville, Miss. That facility is an experiential learning, ropes course challenge, where the focus is on group collaboration and where leadership skills are recognized and nurtured.
“This is not school,” declared Thomas. “This is learning science, learning to be a good scientist and doing things that promote the greater good. This is learning, but it’s also fun with a canoe trip and survival skills, too.”
For more information and an application visit: http://www.usm.edu/biology/bslc-camp.htm.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.