Final Summer Preparations

Our last school field trip was Wednesday, so you’re probably thinking that we’re taking a little break and enjoying a quiet few days before summer sets in. Your wishful thinking is great and we welcome positive and relaxing vibes because it’s officially time for summer programs and camp!

Our four camp counselors were on-hand yesterday for their first day of intensive training to prepare for summer camp. In addition to learning about Discovery Center’s exhibits, internal processes, and procedures; all camp counselors received TRIAD training which will help them to be more comfortable and successful when working with campers on the Autism spectrum. TRIAD (Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders) is a program developed by Vanderbilt University that looks at research, assessment, treatment, family support, and community education for children and adults on the autism spectrum. This training included strategies for working with children with autism spectrum disorders and meeting their needs in a proactive manner. To go one step further, our Camp Coordinator, Kelsey, called every parent that noted some sort of special need for their camper. These conversations revolved around strategies for seamless transitions between activities, ideas for handling situations of sensory overload or under-stimulation, and tips and suggestions for working with their child’s individual needs and preferences.

And that’s not even the end of it. Yesterday, Catherine, Emmie, and Wesley were trained to drive the STEAM Bus. Although a CDL is not required to operate the STEAM Bus, extensive training is needed to learn to properly maneuver, operate, and maintain the bus. Catherine is our new Mobile Education Coordinator and will soon be able to drive the STEAM Bus to schools, daycares, community recreation centers, and festivals to deliver onsite, hands-on programs on a variety of topics. Emmie and Wesley are both educators that can accompany mobile programming or lead it themselves. By having a full team trained to drive the STEAM Bus and lead its associated programming, we can serve large schools and groups at one time. Want to learn more about the STEAM Bus and mobile learning opportunities? Click here.

It has been a busy week wrapping up school visits and preparing for summer camps, but with these two great training opportunities, our staff are more equipped to meet visitor needs than ever before.