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SAS Blog

Corey Finds His Voice

Every week when they arrive at Science Adventure School, students are responsible for deciding which good traits, qualities, and behaviors that they would like to uphold during the week. This list becomes what we call a Full Value Contract, or FVC. The students write these expectations on a blank white bandana, then sign their name and agree to uphold the FVC.

Taken from above, this photo shows students' hands holding a square, white bandana, on which they have signed their names and written words and phrases like "be helpful," "be trustworthy," and "respect the workers and wildlife and privacy."

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I Am One of Them

Guest post written by Miles Bowlin, Lead Operations Staff

Outside the realm of religion, it is perhaps educators who hold the most faith. They bare their souls to students, working tirelessly to instill in them knowledge, not only about the arts and sciences, but about being a good human. Then, after a predetermined period of time, they let those students go, often never to see them again. The kindergarten math teacher can only hope that their foundational lessons in addition and subtraction will stick and one day compound into a proclivity for algebra and geometry. Hope—that is the key word. It’s nigh impossible to see the impact of work that matures at the same rate that children grow into adults.

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I Never Want to Leave West Virginia

To celebrate the final night of Science Adventure School each week, we host a campfire with skits, songs, and s’mores. At the end of the campfire, a SAS staff member shares a story about how living in or moving to West Virginia has transformed them, emphasizing the natural beauty and opportunities in West Virginia. Finally, we all sing “Take Me Home, Country Roads” together in the firelight.

One night during “Country Roads,” a student named Aiden began intensely crying. While his teacher consoled him, he simply said, “This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I never want to leave West Virginia.” Later, the teacher shared with us that Aiden had only recently moved to West Virginia, and that the teachers had never heard him speak up in class as much as he had at SAS. The teacher then continued to say, “I haven’t been able to make an impact like this with a student in the past ten years that I’ve been teaching middle school. This is the type of experience students need, to really want to stay in this state and be passionate about it.”

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The True Power an Invisible Object Can Hold

It’s first down. There’s thirty seconds left on the clock. No receivers are open. Time is running out. He drops back. Pass is deep towards the end zone. Intercepted!

That was the end of my first game as quarterback for the Science Adventure School Sixth Grade Invisible Football League. It was a rough one and a throw that I definitely wish I could have taken back, but dinner time was over, and it was time for shower hour to start; the game had to come to an end. In this one moment I learned so much. First and foremost, don’t throw deep passes in invisible football. 

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How to Wake Up 100 Sixth Graders at Once

West Virginia mornings are a sight to behold - dramatic mountain passes fill with fog and mist, as the sun bursts streams of light into our little Science Adventure School tent town. The cool, moist air invigorates the body and clears the mind, even at 6:30 AM. Our sixth-grade students almost miss this majestic scene—they are keen to stay bundled up in their warm sleeping bags. Luckily, our dedicated staff here at Science Adventure School goes through great lengths to ensure that every student gets to wake up and experience West Virginia's natural beauty in all its glory.

Students seated on a grassy field watch the sky, which is blue, gold, and orange with dramatic gray clouds.

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Sometimes SASquatches Fall Down. Here’s How We Handle It.

                                          A person wearing a sasquatch suit and a bike helmet rides a BMX bike, coasting across a concrete pad while standing on the pedals.

Science Adventure School presents to students what is called a growth mindset. When we fail at something, we remind ourselves that we can get closer to success through diligence, patience, and hard work. Failure is often the foundation of success, which is why success and failure should both be celebrated. 

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