Young Students Preview College at PacificQuest 2014

By Cambria Wheeler on July 28, 2014

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Academically outstanding students in grades seven to ninegot a weeklong taste of college life from July 20-25 at PacificQuest, PUC’sannual summer program. During the week, the 19 PacificQuest campers livedon-campus and experienced college-level coursework.

“The mission behind PacificQuest is to provide academicallygifted junior-high students with an opportunity to collaboratively exploretopics that they may not have the opportunity to engage in otherwise within thetraditional school curriculum—all while getting a small taste of PUC campusculture!” shared PacificQuest Academic Director Tauva Hellie.

Students participated in two courses, a core class and anelective option. This year’s core class was Music and Storytelling, taught byRachelle Davis, professor of music and chair of the department of music. Thecourse explored the fundamental elements that are used to express emotion andtell stories through music. At the awards program on July 25, groups ofstudents demonstrated what they had learning by sharing short videos thatutilized carefully chosen music.

In addition to the Music and Storytelling course, studentschose between The Legacy of Graphic Design: Leave Your Mark and Physics: Beyonda Mere Observation, both challenging and inspiring options for the buddingintellectuals in attendance.

In The Legacy of Graphic Design course, students learnedabout the exciting history of graphic design through hands-on learning and techniquesincluding calligraphy, bookmaking, and cutting-edge computer technology. Theinstructor, Haley Wesley, creative services director and senior designer inPUC’s office of public relations, was inspired by her students’ work. “Theywere challenged to communicate visually like great graphic designers beforethem,” Wesley explained. “This challenge was met with enthusiasm and hard work.The result was amazing books and posters expressing high levels of creativity.”

The students who chose the Physics elective learned fromNational Science Foundation grant recipient and PUC Professor of Physics VolaAndrianarijaona. Topics included dynamics, electromagnetism, optics, andbiophysics. “Physics was very interesting because of all the experiments,”shared Jonathan Watson, who will be a sophomore at Escondido Adventist Academythis fall. Watson, who has attended PacificQuest for three years, hopes tostudy music and science in college.

Just as the college experience is limited to the classroom,the PacificQuest program included co-curricular opportunities. Morning worshipsfrom the boys’ and girls’ counselors and from PUC Church Lead Pastor Mark Witasstarted each day, and before lunch the students had recreation time with PUCstudent Kim Clarke. Finally, each evening featured a fun event: culturalpresentations from each student, time at the college’s on-campus observatory, aservice-learning seminar, a quiz bowl, the always popular talent show, and theThursday night luau and pool party.

Sydney Johnston, the tutoring coordinator at the college’sStudent Success Center, served as the Camp Director duringPacificQuest and coordinated the evening activities. “The talent show Wednesdaywas a smash hit!” Johnston enthused. All the kids participate, and the showincluded skits, poetry, piano solos, a harp solo, stand-up comedy, lip-syncing,song and dance, guitar and ukulele music, and some outstanding vocal solos.”

PacificQuest 2014 student David Porco, an incoming freshmanat Pine Hills Adventist Academy in Auburn, Calif., participated in the programfor the second year. His favorite part was spending time with his peers: “Itwas like a family atmosphere, and it was fun to hang out with each other.”