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PacificQuest 2008: Skills for the 21st Century

Lindsay Petersen, August 11, 2008

It was another thrilling week for the 24 participants in the annual PacificQuest program at Pacific Union College, which ran this year from July 27 to August 1. Perhaps a measure of its popularity is the number of fervent requests to return from students who are no longer of qualifying age. They want to come back for one more year, and one of their arguments is that the closer they get to being of college age and participating in the program, the greater the chance of making PUC their final choice of college. Who can argue against that kind of young logic?

The PacificQuest program is designed for students who have just completed grades seven through nine, and it introduces them to PUC through a week of activities and classes, with one core class and a choice of two electives taught by PUC instructors.

Professors Richard Rockwell, Maria Rankin-Brown and Robert Ordóñez taught stimulating classes in mathematics, creative thinking and writing, and interactive computer programming. On the final day of the program, the students delivered individual demonstrations and group skits that were entertaining and even riveting proofs of concepts and skills learned. Upon completion of the program, each student earned one unit of college credit along with a $500 scholarship for future study at PUC.

Professors Aimee Wyrick-Brownworth and Lindsay Petersen led the program this year. Petersen served as academic director; and Wyrick, as camp director, planned evening activities consisting of "cultural diversity," a quiz bowl and hike to the observatory, as well as an annual talent show and farewell luau at the pool.