Bluefield University in the News


by | Jun 16, 2011

It’s not often kids ages 10-13 study botany and biochemistry or analyze Lepidoptera and micro invertebrates, but that’s exactly what kids that age did during Bluefield College’s summer Adventure Biology Camp, June 13-17.

As part of BC’s Fine Arts Community School (FACS) Summer Camps program, the Adventure Biology Camp — one of 12 summer camps, seminars and workshops scheduled by the school May through July — featured five days of exploration inside BC biology labs and outside amongst nature designed to develop a curiosity and a passion for biology.

“We want to stir up interest in science,” said BC’s Dr. Joe Saunders, associate professor of chemistry, who joined Dr. Emily Lambert, an assistant professor of biology, in leading the Biology Camp. “We want the kids to explore and develop a wonder about the natural world and to enjoy time out and about.”

Out and about the children adventured into a local creek to find micro invertebrates to determine the health of the stream. From their findings of mayflies, snails, scuds, worms, midge flies and larva, they concluded good health for the local waterway.

“We enjoyed getting in the creek and looking at the water creatures,” said Sarah and Elizabeth Blevins, 11-year-old twin sisters from Bluefield, Virginia. “We liked getting wet and finding bugs and larva.”

Outside, the students also hiked the Bluefield Nature Trail to identify the various trees and bushes along the way in an introduction to local botany. Inside BC biology labs, they learned how to use microscopes to examine spiders and insects and explored the beauty and wonder of Lepidoptera, one of the most widespread insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and several families of butterflies.

“I liked looking into the microscopes and getting to see the bugs with fangs and claws,” said Lakin Odum, a nine-year-old from Tazewell, Virginia. “It was fun.”

Inside the biology labs, the kids also enjoyed an introduction to biochemistry through the study of food groups, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. In fact, the biochemistry lesson also included the building of a model DNA structure.

“I learned about science, animals and microscopes,” said 10-year-old Jaylin Harris of Bluefield, West Virginia. “We studied bugs and molecules, and it was a lot of fun.”

In addition to creating an interest in the world around them, Dr. Saunders said the Biology Camp might also produce future Bluefield College biology students and even maybe someday a world renowned biologist.

“I enjoyed the whole experience,” said Ace Lipscomb, a 10-year-old from Princeton, West Virginia, “because I believe it will help me achieve my goal of becoming a biologist when I grow up. The study of animals and living things interests me.”

The Biology Camp is one of many adventure opportunities available for local children this summer through BC’s Fine Arts Community School. The summer FACS camps and workshops still available include:

Backyard Chickens Workshop (June 21)
Learn how to buy chickens, build coops, feed and care for chickens.

Criminal Justice Camp (June 20-24)
Explore the criminal justice system through demonstrations by police, SWAT, and canine officers. Investigate a mock crime scene and analyze the evidence.

Math and Science Camp (June 27-July 1)
Study the principles of chemistry, earth science, astronomy, physics, algebra, measurements.

Fine Arts Camp (July 11-15)
Explore music, theatre and art in preparation for a culmination program for parents.

Preschool Fine Arts Camp (July 11-15)
Explore music and art each day in this fun-filled week of the study of the arts.

Theatre Camp (July 18-22)
Learn mask construction, stage makeup and set construction while preparing for a performance of Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book.”

Private Music Lessons
Private piano, voice, organ, saxophone, clarinet, tuba, trombone, trumpet, and flute lessons, scheduled on days and times to fit your schedule.

To register or for more information about times, age limits, tuition and fees, family discounts or payment plans, visit, or call 800-872-0175 (x4246) or 276-326-4246, or e-mail [email protected]

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