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Summer science fun: Educational camp held at Sparkman Civic Center  

Homemade slime, honeybee houses, worm races and more were on the agenda when children attended Barb Helton’s summer science camp at the Sparkman Civic Center June 6.  

Helton is the environmental science teacher at Crestline Elementary School where she manages the outdoor classroom and spends time weekly with every student at the school.  

She holds the camp during the summer to keep students involved, engaged and learning while school is out, she said. 

“Parents are always looking for something for their kids to participate in during the summer months – and what better way to keep children engaged and learning than going to science camp?” she said. “It’s learning disguised as a fun day with friends.”  

Helton owns and operates Circle H Ranch with her husband Bill and says she is constantly outdoors doing things with the environment on the farm. The couple also raise chickens and tend a garden.  

Helton’s workshops are popular and fill to capacity quickly. She offered two classes June 6 to keep the class sizes manageable. 

“I don’t want the class to get so big the children aren’t getting quality instruction – I want to make sure they can get 100 percent of me, so if that requires two or three workshops, then that will be better for the kids,” she said. 

Helton added she tries to find everyday materials to use at science camp so the projects can be easily replicated at home. She calls her projects ‘junk drawer science’ and tries to make everything during her sessions a learning experiment or object lesson.