Registration is open for programs and classes offered by the Milbank Area Youth Activities Project (MAYA). The MAYA Project, in its sixth year, is a non-profit project started by a group of local teachers wanting to give all elementary-age children an opportunity to participate in summer activities. Classes are taught and supervised by Milbank School District personnel and are held at Koch School.
“We are a summer recreation program, not summer school,” says Koch School teacher Robin Patnoe. “We place emphasis in two areas, the fine arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Our STEM classes involve inquiry-based and project-based learning. The students are given the freedom to think, design and create, as well as problem solve.
Classes offered this summer include: Art Club, Drum Circle, Drama Club, Imagination Station, Lego Robotics, CSI – WhoDunnit? And 3-2-1 Blastoff. Tuesday and Thursday classes run from May 30 to June 29, and Wednesday classes run May 31 to June 28.
Art Club is for primary and intermediate grade students. The class focuses on drawing, cartooning, and abstract art. Watercolors, chalk, acrylic crayons, and markers are used. Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Children currently in grades 1-3 attend from 1 to 2 p.m. Children in grades 4-5 attend from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.
Drum Circle students make instruments and play rhythm games using homemade drums, shakers, and maracas. They also learn drumming techniques on 5-gallon buckets. Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m. for grades 2-5.
Drama Club students participate in games using props, improvisation, mime, role play, reader’s theater, masks, and puppets. The class is for 2-5 grade students on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon.
Imagination Station is a new class offered for students in grades 1-3. STEM activities are linked to familiar fairy tales. Activities include making a mechanical hand to steal the golden egg and building a boat for the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Classes are Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to noon.
Three new classes are offered for students in grades 4-5. The first is Lego Robotics. “Brand new WeDo2 kits allow students to build a device and program it to move using Chromebooks,” says Patnoe. Classes are Wednesdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
In the new CSI-WhoDunnit? students explore fingerprinting, footprints, fake blood splatter, and mysterious powders. At the end of the session, they analyze a crime scene. Classes are Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Another new class for 4-5 grade students is 3-2-1 Blastoff! Children explore flight models and rockets to determine which model flies closest to a target, which flies faster and farther, and which model can carry the most weight. Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m.
Registration is open and runs through April 12. “Classes have a maximum number of participants and fill up quickly,” says Patnoe. Sign up sheets will be mailed to all elementary students in Milbank. Forms are also available on the Milbank School District webpage under school, Koch Elementary, MAYA Project.
The MAYA Project operates under the Milbank Community Foundation and receives funds from Grant County Combined Appeal. The organization began in 2012. In 2013, the first classes were conducted for 51 students. Last summer, 175 children participated. For questions, contact Robin Patnoe at Koch School, 432-6615.
Charlie and Avery Whitesitt with their creation of the newest ride at Valley Fair during the 2016 Think Tank elementary engineering class.