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Center for the Arts continues STEAM summer camps

By Jill Penley
Freelance Writer

STEAM chasers puppet show
Local students gather for a photo at the conclusion of a recent puppet show at the Johnson County Art Center
in Mountain City. The event was the culmination of a three-day drama and puppetry camp a second installment
of the STEAM Chasers Summer Camps. Photo by Cristy Dunn


The Johnson County Center for the Arts is the place to be to get out of the heat and into the S.T.E.A.M., Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, as several dynamic summer camps have been planned.
Robotics Camp was the first installment of STEAM Chasers Summer Camps,” said Cristy Dunn, Center for the Arts Executive Director. “Students were thrilled to actually build and program claw robots with Ms. Susan Quave and Dr. Brenda Eggers.”

This past week, rising 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders had an opportunity to develop their creative skills during a three-day drama and puppetry camp. According to Dunn, the camp involved creating puppets and other crafts, writing
and performing skits, and exploring the world of drama and puppetry. Instructors for this event were Dottie Harmon and Mary Gale. “We spent the week building puppets, writing a play, and performing it,” said Dunn, who said the theme for the camp was Agatha’s Feather Bed: Not Just Another Wild Goose Story by Carmen Agra Deedy.
“The Cyanotype Printing camp was such a success we are offering another session,” said Dunn, “where students learn about light sensitive printing methods.” J. P. Jackson leads this class, which explores the photographic printing process that produces cyan or Prussian blue colored prints. Participants use the sun to develop prints on fabric using plants or any found objects that block light.
Finally, the last week of July, Kelley St. Germain will hold a filmmaking camp, where students are expected to plan, develop and shoot a short film. “As part of this workshop,” explained Dunn, “students will learn how to plan a short film and develop a story.” Also covered are interview tips and techniques, shooting b roll, music selection, copyright protection and simple equipment hacks. “His emphasis will be on using devices and equipment that students already have access to, such as cell phones and free/low budget editing apps,” said Dunn, “to capture the stories they feel passionate about.”
According to Dunn, each of the summer camp installments has a culminating event. The robotics group held an exciting competition, the drama and puppetry group put on a show, the cyanotype printers were able to create a t-shirt, and the plan is to feature the special student-created films as part of this year’s Long Journey Home.
Dunn’s experience in the field of Mathematics has proven useful in implementing STEAM integration programming. In addition to serving as executive director for Johnson County Center for the Arts, she serves as Co-Chair of the Long Journey Home Board, and is a member of Johnson County JAM Advisory Board. She is also a member of National Art Education Association and American Women Artists.
To learn more about STEAM summer camps or other Arts Center events and classes, go to chasers puppet show