In May, Giz started planning with Luke Johnston and Leigh Stanfield for the second summer LENS program (A program that teaches rising high school juniors and senior about both the issue of sustainability and about writing at the college level.) In his role as Outreach Librarian, Giz really found some new ways to promote the fun and adventuresome nature of librarians by participating in the ropes course with the LENS students. These teambuilding exercises offered an excellent venue for the students to interact with each other and develop problem-solving skills in challenging group activities. After some warm up exercises, the 23 LENS students, three program advisers and Giz divided into three groups, each group rotated through three activities: a “river” that the group had to cross by working together, an 8 x12 platform teeter-totter that the group had to balance on while completing various activities, and lastly a climbing wall where each member of the team had to challenge themselves to reach the top of a 30ft wall. Throughout the exercises the students were supportive and understanding and learned about working together in teams while learning more about each other.

On Tuesday, July 12, the Womack & Collins information literacy advocacy team drew upon their individual talents to provide instruction for 23 students attending LENS. Building on the success of our previous involvement with the LENS program, we decided to use some of the same library instructional strategies and ideas from the previous year. For example, since the scavenger hunt was such a big hit last year we identified some new resources on their topic of sustainability. Each group was given an item to locate in the library and bring it to class. This year’s students showed off their ability to quickly locate books, popular and scholarly periodicals, and a DVD. Following the scavenger hunt, students were introduced to electronic databases and Zotero.

The session on July 13 focused on designing an effective PowerPoint presentation. After watching a YouTube video (How NOT to Use Powerpoint by Comedian Don McMillan), students were introduced to other web-based presentation tools such as Google presentations and Prezi. Working in their assigned groups, students created a presentation on their research project. It is interesting to note that one group used Prezi, another group selected PowerPoint, and the other five groups created a Google presentation. Presentation topics included: rain barrels, worm composting, recycling at Courtney Elementary, local farms and urban gardens, garden cycling plan at Courtney, bringing healthier foods to Courtney, and visual arts as related to sustainability. All of the students did an excellent job summarizing and presenting their research topic to the class.

In two sessions on Thursday, July 14th, Barry Davis offered the LENS students instruction on basic digital video editing and an introduction to flip cameras and iPads. Many of these students will use the flip cameras to document their experiences over the three weeks of the LENS program and one group of students will be creating a documentary of the experience. The students were very excited to create digital video and get some hands on experience with the latest iPads.

At the end of the LENS program the students will create and deliver final presentations on their projects, giving them not only the opportunity to reflect on the program and the topic of sustainability, but also giving them more experience with public speaking and technology. It has been great to serve as instructors in the LENS summer program. The LENS students continue to impress us with their creative ideas and eagerness in completing information literacy activities.