Friday, October 21 , 2016, 8:54 pm | Fair 61º

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Montessori Center School Students Reach for the Stars at Astrocamp

Last week, more than 60 of Montessori Center School’s fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students set out on a voyage spending three days at Astrocamp, located in Idyllwild.

As part of the school’s unique approach to educational outings, MCS Upper Elementary students (fourth through sixth grades) rotate among three camps during their time in the program. The students alternate among Astrocamp, the Catalina Island Marine Institute and the Yosemite Institute at the beginning of each school year.

This has become a well-loved tradition at MCS, which the teachers and students alike look forward to.

Astrocamp, located at the edge of the San Jacinto Mountains, focuses on science education, giving students rich learning opportunities that cannot be obtained in a classroom setting. The children are provided with dynamic hands-on coursework in astronomy, physical science, space exploration and adventure activities.

The camp is specifically designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal growth, which is very aligned with the Montessori approach to learning.

Fifth-grader Noah Weitzel climbs a rock wall in Astrocamp’s interactive Mars lab. (Montessori Center School photo)

Astrocamp’s state-of-the-art facilities and location in a natural mountain setting allow the children to enjoy learning in a very stimulating natural environment. Rocketry, astronaut training and star gazing are among some of the activities students get to explore.

“The three different science camps our students participate in result in multiple positive outcomes," veteran MCS Upper Elementary teacher Cydney Miller said. "All of the camps, in their own way, empower our students and strengthen their social bonds while providing exciting learning opportunities through hands-on lessons and challenges. We often hear back from our alumni that these experiences were some of the fondest memories of their elementary years.”

Montessori Center School, located on Fairview Avenue in Goleta, has provided students ages 18 months through 12 years old with creative and compelling education in a supportive, nurturing environment since 1965. MCS implements the internationally renowned Montessori Method of teaching and works to ensure that the school flourishes for today’s children and for generations to come.

— Alyssa Morris is the director of admissions and alumni for Montessori Center School.

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