Eight-year-old Aiden Boland stood in a Carroll Community College classroom with bluish-green slime covering his hands.
“It’s really fun. I mean like, it’s so fun,” Aiden said, referring to the Slimy Science activity.
Aiden was one of many kids ages 3 to 15 who are participating this summer at the community college’s Summer! Kids@Carroll! + Teen College camp program, which includes classes like the science camp, circus camp, drawing camp, cooking camp and more that runs through the summer.
Cassandra Casey, coordinator of lifelong learning for the college, said the program is done in a way where kids are having so much fun, they don’t even realize they’re learning.
“Summer! Kids@Carroll is an exciting, enrichment opportunity for kids ages 3 to 15. We like to think of them as engagement activities,” she said.
These camps keep kids’ brains and bodies moving over the summer, she added.
“Engagement and enrichment activities like these have an opportunity to keep these kids engaged and learning so that when they start the next school year, they retain more of their information,” Casey said.
On an early July Tuesday, kids ages 6 to 8 sat patiently waiting their ingredients to make slime. Instructors and helpers went around the room, pouring white glue into bowls. From there, they were able to choose a color to dye the glue and glitter to jazz the mixture up.
The kids then took to furiously stirring the ingredients until they were perfectly blended. Next came the liquid starch.
As the starch melded with the glue mixture, it began to stiffen and take on the slime-like texture.
Some students took their slime and rolled it into a ball or flattened it on their desk. Others stretched and pulled the goo, sometimes even across the room’s entirety. Others took the messy approach, dripping the material all over their arms and hands, asking for high fives.
Aiden said he liked getting to play with the slime and feel all of the different textures.
“I’m having a blast,” he said.
Laura Miley, a teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools and the course’s instructor, said they make multiple different types of slime with ingredients found at home so students can recreate what they did in camp. One day during the camp, they used contact solution. On another, they used the liquid starch.
There are even ways to make edible slime, Miley said.
“The focus here is really more on the fun than on the learning, but as a teacher, I am very able to slide the learning in very easily,” Miley said. “Camp is a great place for kids to get their hands on stuff that they might not have an opportunity to do otherwise.”