During the Fall 2013 semester, 50 Poughkeepsie Middle School students worked one-on-one with 50 Vassar student mentors. Each day at VAST, the middle school students brought in their homework and their mentors helped them work on it. When they finished their homework early, they worked on interdisciplinary projects such as writing essays or poems, creating Mad-Libs, engineering paper airplanes, learning how to calculate heart rate, and playing community building games.
On Fridays at VAST, Vassar students lead fun enrichment activities for the middle school students. For the Fall 2013 semester, our activities included: Debate, Art, Art History, Science & Engineering, Dance, and Cooking.
We also took the middle school students on field trips to Vassar College:
- In October 2013, VAST went on a field trip to the Vassar Squash courts in Kenyon Hall to learn how to play a new sport with the Vassar squash team. VAST scholars and mentors had a LOT of fun learning how to use a squash racket and follow the rules of the game.
- In November 2013, a Vassar Chemistry Professor hosted a science demonstration in the Mudd Chemistry Building to teach the middle school scholars about acids and bases, states of matter, and how to make ice cream using liquid nitrogen. It was an awesome event where the scholars got to see how much fun science experiments can be!
- In December 2013, VAST went on a field trip to the Vassar College art museum where student docents led the scholars on a tour of the museum and taught them drawing techniques. Then we went to the computer lab in the library where the scholars learned how to use blogs and typed up their own writing piece to update to the VAST blog.
For more information about all the cool things that happened at VAST last semester, check out our blog: pages.vassar.edu/vast
We can't wait to see what the next semester will bring for VAST!