Summer Fun with 21st Century

Summer Fun with 21st Century
Posted on 08/05/2019
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Energy and curiosity has filled the summer for students at 11 sites in the 21st Century Community Learning Center program. Students entering grades K-12 went on field trips, engaged in hands-on activities and projects, and more.

At the Lakeview Community Center, Master Gardeners from Washington State University Tri-Cities led students of varying ages through an exploration of bugs and insects. At one of the five stations set up around the room, students raised their hands in excitement as a Master Gardener held up a photo and asked students if they could identify the bug pictured. “Roly poly” was the enthusiastic response, leading to a conversation about the bug’s different names and relations to other insects. At other stations, students passed around toys shaped like different insects to learn about their anatomy, observed pinned insects with magnifying glasses, drew and colored with insect stencils, and solved puzzles and worksheets.

students raise their hands while presenter holds picture of roly poly

While students at Lakeview learned about the natural world on the ground, students at Highlands Middle School in Kennewick prepared for a hands-on study of weather patterns by launching a High Altitude weather balloon. The middle school students built the weather balloon at every level of the process, led by Scott McLeod, a physics teacher from Kamiakin High School who does the same project with his high school students. On the day of the launch, Site Coordinator Megan Beaujon led students through a pre-flight check, and Mr. McLeod showed students on an online weather balloon calculator the spot north of Ritzville where the weather balloon was approximated to come down. During the launch, students in the launch teams expertly assembled and prepped the balloon before their teachers set it off. With live cameras at either end, students could watch the balloon’s process as it rose until bursting, while a HAM radio recorded weather and temperature.

Across other 21st Century sites, students explored other topics through leadership retreats, visits to museums, guest speakers and teachers, and more to support and prepare them for another year of learning. 

The 21st Century program through ESD 123 will enter the 2019-2020 school year operating 5 Cohorts at 11 different sites. Check out all the photos from this summer’s fun with 21st Century on our ESD Facebook page at

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