Summer Camp Focuses On Beach Erosion

Summer Camp Focuses On Beach Erosion

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It was an eventful day at Westcott Beach State Park for Jefferson-Lewis BOCES students - a day full of learning.

Mary Pennock is an English teacher at the BOCES site in Watertown. But, it's her first year as a camp director for MAST, which stands for Manufacturing Academy of Science and Technology.

"Each week, we cover field research. We go out and explore the environment. We explore different problems that need addressing and then we go back to school, the students are able to research that problem and come up with a solution," she said.

After last year's significantly high water levels, most of Westcott Beach was eroded. Now, one year later, the group of 14 students from all districts in the north country are ready to research and come up with a solution for beach erosion.

"I've learned that the water level used to be really, really high here and they had to close the beach and some of the campsites, too," said Olivia Goss, 6th grader. 

After the students collected their data on the beach, they'll move into the classroom, where they'll use 3D printers to make a beach scene in a sandbox - solving the problem on a smaller scale.

Tenth grader Samantha Houston was at MAST camp last year and she liked it so much she came back to volunteer.

"I'm kind of proud that I did something to help the environment and the community," she said.

"She passed the cut off age and now she's our camp assistant, doing a phenomenal job," said Pennock.

Pennock says the program prides itself on making sure an entire lesson is covered in one week. The students will complete their research plans and present solutions on Thursday. 

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