The first-ever Summer Virtual Science Camp for high school students hosted by the VT EPSCoR CWDD at Saint Michael’s College was held on July 20-23, 2020. Innovating ways to offer outreach efforts with high school students due to the COVID-19 pandemic offered an opportunity for students to learn online presentation skills and scientific research methods that traditionally would have been held in-person.
A total of 16 high school students attended the Virtual Science Camp. Schools represented included Academia Maria Reina, Colegio Rosa Bell, and Acadamia San Agustín y Espíritu Santo in Puerto Rico, Lawrence High School and Abbott Lawrence Academy in Massachusetts, and New York Harbor Academy in New York.
Each day featured an online learning portion and a homework portion for students to complete on their own, including "Introduction to Vermont EPSCoR and BREE, followed by Wikiwatershed and Land Use Data (view video); "Macroinvertebrate and iNaturalist" (view video); "Research Day," in which students created graphics and pulled together content from Days 1 and 2 (view video); and "Conclusion of the Science Camp," in which students presented their work and had small group discussions. A career panel followed, with three of the five panelists represented by former undergraduate interns and former or current CWDD staff.