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Bard College Center for Civic Engagement Announces New Summer Science Program for Local Students

Eleanor Davis
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY—The Bard College Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) announces a new summer science program for students in the local Red Hook and Germantown school districts. Working closely with Bard and middle school faculty, the Bard College Farm and the Bard Science Summer Research Institute, student program directors, and CCE VISTA volunteers developed the Build, Learn, Play! (BLP!) Summer Science program, a four day science program utilizing the Bard College Farm and Bard’s state-of-the-art Reem and Kayden Center for Science and Computation.

Bard CCE has developed science outreach programs in Germantown, Kingston, Pine Plains, Red Hook, and Rhinebeck, partnering with local districts to develop engaging, hands-on science activities with local youth during the academic year.  Funded in part by the Boston Foundation, the pilot BLP! Summer Science program extends science outreach activities into the summer months, helping inspire rising middle school students to engage in science. Utilizing evidence- based reasoning and the scientific method, 18 local children will explore science on the farm and in the lab with volunteers from the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Bard faculty, and Bard College Farm. By focusing programming on the farm, BLP! challenges students to think creatively and critically about food production, sustainability, and the roles that biology, chemistry, and physics play in their daily lives.  

“Working with local students has both broadened my awareness of the communities surrounding Bard, and helped me develop beyond my course work,” says Jesse Weiss, ’16. “Each day I work with the kids I feel a new sense of purpose and new motivation to provide the best academic and emotional support that I can.”

Weiss, a Bard sophomore, runs BLP! during the academic year and is working this summer with Kingston’s mayor, Shayne Gallo, to extend the after-school program into the city this fall. 

Enrollment is full for the 2013 session. To learn more about the program and other science outreach initiatives, contact VISTA volunteer Nate Zeitlin at or call 845-758-7453.  

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July 2, 2013

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This event was last updated on 07-02-2013