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KCSD 4th graders enjoy bug camp

Posted: August 13, 2018 4:51 p.m.
Updated: August 14, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Photos provided by the Kershaw County School District/

Camden Elementary student Cody Taylor proudly shows a specimen.

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When they return to school next week, many elementary teachers will ask their students about their favorite summer experience. For 12 Kershaw County School District (KCSD) students that answer will likely be “Bug Camp.”

Taught by former high school biology teacher and lifelong naturalist John Taylor, the three-day camp, for gifted rising 4th graders, provided students with hands-on experiences observing and collecting insects. Students also learned scientific procedures for preserving and classifying specimens and participated in a broad range of biological, ecological and environmental lessons.

“My own lifelong interest in insects and then science began when I was very young,” Taylor said in a KCSD press release. “It was a joy to see how excited these young students were and how much they were capable of learning and doing in three mornings!”

A former superintendent in Lancaster, Taylor previously hosted a local cable channel “Bug Show.”

Each student received a tool box containing an insect net, magnifying lens, forceps, insect mounting pins, insect labels, identification book and collection box. Students watched Monarch butterflies emerging from their chrysalises, laughed as click beetles launched themselves 2 feet into the air and held buzzing cicadas up to their ears to appreciate the volume from small insects.

Doby’s Mill Elementary parent Crystal Jordan said her daughter, Bella, described the camp as “epic” and is pleased that she is now excited to be headed back to school.

“The camp gave her insight into what a scientist does and rekindled her love of learning,” Jordan said.  “The experience created a special learning environment where the children were allowed to really experience science in a way that challenged them and created a passion to learn even more.”

Lugoff Elementary parent Shannon Team echoed this enthusiasm.

“I loved hearing Clay’s excitement each afternoon as he told me about the bugs they studied and all that they had learned,” Team said. “He even asked to go in early so he could learn more.”

Pine Tree Hill Elementary student Colt Babic described the experience as “the most fun I ever had at a camp -- and it was educational.”

The class is the first of a series of special interest and talent development modules to be offered by the school district for students during school vacations and on weekends. The district is looking for talented community members who have ideas for special interest classes for students. For more information, contact Dr. Alisa Taylor at (803) 432-8416.

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