Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are mixing things up with the art of writing at UVa-Wise this week.

Several youngsters are spending the week exploring the wonders of science at UVa-Wise. They are also learning to reflect and write about what they see and experience during the Summer Science Camp.

“Our primary goal is to offer some fun activities to these kids as they learn about the different branches of science,” said Amy Clark, a professor of communication studies at the College. “This is the perfect age because they’re so inquisitive and open to new learning opportunities.”

The science camp, co-sponsored by the Appalachian Writing Project and the Department of Natural Sciences, brings UVa-Wise natural science faculty together with the youngsters for four days of fun and learning.

“We wanted to incorporate writing because that’s something that’s always linked to the humanities but not STEM,” Clark explained. “We want them to know that it’s important to be able to communicate what they’re observing and learning. We plan to include some creative writing, possibly some blogging, and lab reports.”

Professor Margie Tucker, chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, got the idea to offer the summer camp when she thought about the available resources on campus.

“I don’t think we have an agenda except to introduce our kids to some really cool ideas and open their eyes to things they may have never seen before,” Tucker said. “I talked to a bunch of people about it and everyone agreed it was a great idea, and Amy offered to combine it with her creative writing grant so we could do a program.”

The youngsters spent Tuesday dip netting with Professor of Biology Wally Smith in the wetlands, followed by a writing session. Stargazing at the campus observatory with Professor Lucian Undreiu, rocks and fossils with Professor Bob VanGundy, dragonfly chasing with Professor Josephine Rodriquez, fun with physics with Professor Adriana Undreiu and virtual reality with Seth France are among the activities planned for the rest of the week. Writing sessions follow each activity.