STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – You are lost in the woods.
The sun is setting, and your cell phone is dead.
It’s a spine tingling scenario.
A compass could save your life.
If you only knew how to use it.
Youngsters in the Starkville Science club are pointed in the right direction.
Science is in action on the Henderson Ward Stewart Campus in Starkville.
Youngsters are spending the week gaining a new appreciation of nature.
Leslie Burger is a Mississippi State University Extension Instructor.
She explains, ” We’re trying to move along this continuum of understanding and appreciating our natural resources. So many times, our kids are not comfortable being outside. Many are afraid. They don’t understand. It’s hot.”
The outdoors are great, until you get lost.
But our junior explorers should be A-okay, thanks to a 2 dollar piece of plastic.
Dr. Jessica Tegt is an instructor in Mississippi State University’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture.
She reminds us that, ” A compass doesn’t need batteries. It doesn’t even need solar power. It just needs brain power and a little bit of knowhow, and there’s a lot of professionals who don’t even know how to use a compass properly.”
These 20 children do.
Dr. Tegt has given the group landmarks, and they must use their compasses to come up with the corresponding coordinates.
12 year old Kimron Reaves explains, ” And the thing we came up with is, put the red in the shed and follow Fred. Like this is red and that’s the shed and this is Fred.
13 year old Liz Dodd adds, ” But you don’t move the compass, you move your body, to turn towards it, and follow this.”
I asked 10 year old Abigail Green, ” Do you think you think you could use that to find your way out of places?” She responded, ” Probably, I could try.”
Students are having a good time on their quest.
A treasure hunt is set for Friday afternoon.
Liz Dodd says, ” It’s a lot of fun, and a lot of good learning opportunities, especially for people who love science, like me.”
Abigail Green adds, ” (it’s better) Because in regular school, you just sit in the class and do this all day. (stares into space) That’s all you do in regular school.”
Kimron sums it up, ” You get to actually experience it, like do it. It’s pretty cool.”
I asked, ” You like that better than reading about it?”
Kimron answered, ” Yah.”
It’s a case of critical thinking meeting practical application.
This week’s camp was made possible through financial support from the U-S Fish and Wildlife Department.
A similar camp is set for next week, thanks to the Mississippi State Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.