STEUBENVILLE - The fifth-graders stood quietly on a hillside watching a classmate shoot a bottle rocket high into the blue sky Wednesday morning.
Welcome to the 19th-annual Eastern Gateway Community College Camp for Kids, where lessons about Sir Issac Newton are interrupted by rocket shots using plastic 2-liter bottles, two cups of water, a rocket launcher and a bicycle air pump.
"So far Maria Schroeck has the best time with her rocket staying in the air for 7.34 seconds," announced class instructor Janine Yeske.
"This is the Rockets Away class. I also teach this project to Jefferson County 4-H participants. And I do this project every year at Fernwood Outdoor Days," explained Yeske who is the Jefferson County 4-H educator.
Schroeck, a Maryland resident, is visiting her grandmother this week and has enrolled once again in the College Camp for Kids.
"I like coming to see my grandmother and taking classes here. Its fun shooting these rockets into the air," Schroeck cited.
Rachel Bauer of Cleveland also is visiting relatives this week and plans her trip so she can attend the camp.
"I have been coming to this camp since I was in kindergarten because it's fun," Bauer noted.
And according to camp director Vicki Littlejohn, "the camp is also a jump start for kids getting ready to go back to school."
"We get a lot of the same kids because they get excited about the camp at this time of the year. And the camp gets the kids into the mood for school again," said Littlejohn.
Sheryl Huggans, an EGCC administrative assistant volunteering at the camp, said 63 kids attended this year's camp.
"It also gives the kids a chance to see old friends and meet new friends. And the college enjoys doing this for the community," noted Huggans.
"We have the standard classes every year and this year we added a Junior Scientist class, Fun with Food, a Happy Holidays class, Under the Big Top and You Tell the Story," remarked Huggans.
"The most popular classes this week are Making a video and Italian. The kids enjoy learning basic Italian, and on Friday the Making a Video teacher will give each student their own video. They always like that because they can look back years from now and see what they looked like at this age," Huggans said.
The five-day camp will conclude Friday.