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Duke Energy and KSS Partner to Create an Impact in Citrus Spring Middle School

Joshua OLeary KI

Joshua O’Leary shines with KSS teacher training and Duke Energy Action Stipend 

One of the many programs at Keystone Science School (KSS), located in Keystone, Colorado, is our teacher training for K-12 classroom teachers, known as KSS Educator Programs. KSS presents a wide variety of interdisciplinary curriculums for teachers to bring into their everyday classroom. All curriculum options have common themes, which includes the inspiration of critical thinking, engaged citizenship, and the broadening of perspectives. Most importantly, teaching themes are addressed from a non-biased framework, which gives the power of learning to the students. A common phrase around Keystone Science School is “we teach students how to think, not what to think.”

KSS has been using this approach for the last 42 years. Many of KSS’s curriculum options have been developed during the past 26 years. While KSS’s curriculum has been adapted, and shifted for a 21st Century classroom, the key components remain the same. Keystone Science School is thankful to many of our partners and sponsors who have made our programs successful and brought life-changing experience for thousands of teachers around the world.

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Reflecting on Summer Camp at KSS

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July 2012- The Summer of Discovery. It was the very first Discovery Deluxe session in the history of Keystone Science School. Let's just say it was EPIC. Being the first deluxe session meant that the next two weeks would be a mystery to all campers, new and returning. The anticipation of the events to come, excited every camper, and with the unfolding of each event, the excitement continued to grow. The week started off like any other discovery session with the discovery hike on the first day.

For me, it seemed like any other camp session that I loved and looked forward to year after year. However, once Friday arrived and all the "normal" discovery activities had been completed, we realized that there was still a week left of camp. This meant there was a week full of mystery activities to be enjoyed in our future.

The unveiling of what would become my favorite time at camp was more than incredible. CLAW, short for Camp Legends And Warriors, is discovery deluxe tradition that originated during this first year. This color war event was the perfect mix of Science. Adventure. and Fun! that brought us all together. While I could go on forever about just how amazing that first year of deluxe was, I want to leave the rest to you. Being my last year as a CAP (Counselor Assistant Program), I have some advice for all lovers of Science. Adventure. and Fun!.. TRY SOMETHING NEW. Whether that means trying Discovery Camp, signing up for the 12-day Discovery Deluxe session, or trying a session of KMA (Keystone Mountain Adventures), branch out. As a camper who has tried all of these, each one was an amazing experience that made me love KSS even more. I hope you have a fantastic summer!

Written by Camp Leadership Board Member, Gaby Brown

Overnight School Field Trip Challenges

Macro Hunting 2

Keystone Science School loves teaching environmental and outdoor education programs. It is our goal to make sure that every student has the opportunity to experience a unique field-based science program. We understand that organizing an overnight field trip is never an easy task for a teacher, administrator, or parent volunteer. We also understand that sometimes there are several barriers when organizing an overnight outdoor education program. The most common barriers expressed by teachers are the loss of class time, budget, and the logistics involved.

It’s our goal to knock down all barriers so that we can bring every school that wishes to provide an overnight field trip experience to their students, in the unique environment of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Below are just some ways that we can continue partnering with schools, so that every student can experience a high impact science field trip. Please call us or email and let's start chatting about how we can help eliminate all barriers and get your school on an overnight field trip with Keystone Science school.

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The Purpose of a Campfire

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At Keystone Science School, we believe that every child deserves camp. Everything we do at summer camp is carefully planned and executed in the creation of life-changing experiences.

A perfect example of this is our opening campfire. On the first night of every overnight camp session, we host a campfire with the typical repeat-after-me songs, counselor skits, and of course s’mores!

As an outside observer, you might think that it’s just complete silliness and has no purpose. The reality is that the opening campfire is very structured and has many goals. Of all the structured goals the central theme is friendship.

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How the Keystone Science School Gave Me Purpose

summer camp near denver colorado

At times I stir awake at night thinking about how small I am in the world. Just one person out of 7 billion, pretty darn tiny. So I think to myself, why am I really here? How could I have some purpose here when there are 7 billion other people just as good?

Then I remind myself about camp, the Keystone Science School. Somehow, within just the 23 acres of the campus in this huge world, I seem to have found a purpose. Camp has taught me that there is a reason I am here and that I have the power to make a difference. 

I was just 8 years old when I first drove down the then-bumpy Soda Ridge Road. I was incredibly nervous and was already eager for this week without my mom and dad to be over. So, the week went by and like any sappy story about summer camp, I did not want to leave when the week came to an end.

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