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High Rocks Teaches Leadership, Develops Confidence in Teens Girls

A group of 20 ninth through twelfth grade students in southeastern West Virginia now have a greater appreciation, and more developed skills, for math, art, writing, engineering and design, thanks to High Rock’s “Camp Steele,” a ten-day project-oriented academic summer camp for high school girls.

The girls spent several days at the High Rocks campground and worked on a project –nicknamed “The Chair Challenge” – that required the girls to work in groups of two or three to create a chair out of cardboard that would support at least 170 pounds, that was a least 12 inches off the ground and was beautiful enough to be considered a work of art.

To prepare for the project, the girls took classes in math, art and philosophy that explored ideas about geometry, design and beauty. They also participated in daily building “labs” to help spark creativity and practice engineering skills. The project, with support from a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant, was designed to teach the girls leadership as they developed personal confidence and academic skills, including critical thinking, planning and problem solving.

The chairs are now part of a traveling exhibit on display throughout the year at various locations in West Virginia, including the West Virginia Women and Creativity Conference and the Covenant House Gallery in Charleston, W. Va. The chairs also have been featured in the Charleston Daily Mail.

For more information about High Rocks and its programs, visit www.highrocks.org.

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