On our last day of camp, we held a “Eurekathon” all day for the girls to celebrate the end of the summer. I was emotional all throughout the day of talent shows, speeches, and yearbook signing – but at the end, when we actually had to say good-bye to the students, I completely broke down.
Let’s backtrack a bit. Our last week of Eureka was really fun – particularly because it was CSI week and the girls had a mystery to solve. The spheros (the robots that I taught a lesson about during week three) went missing at the beginning of the week, and the students had to figure out who the culprits were based on various clues. My lesson was about crime scenes, so we looked at two different crime scenes full of evidence leading to the sphero thieves, and then recreated a crime scene by absolutely destroying my classroom every day. This was probably my favorite part of the week – handing a box full of toilet paper rolls to a group of middle schoolers and then thriving in the ensuing chaos is good for the soul – but every day I was reminded that it was my last time teaching each group.
As the girls worked on narrowing down their suspect list, took their last few enrichment classes and won points at challenge, I realized how happy I was to have gotten to know them over the summer. A lot of the girls grew a lot and opened up at camp, and I was really happy to see the students who had started off quiet and shy laugh with their friends on the last day.
I got about a million hugs during Eurekathon and lots of very sweet notes in my yearbook. It was also revealed who had stolen the spheros, which many of the campers had figured out by then. After the speeches some of the girls made about their experiences, we had an awards ceremony and a chance to say good-bye to all the girls, and of course, I cried at this point. It was hard to realize that I probably would not get to see them again, but I was very happy to have had the time at Eureka that I did.