The funding that the Wenas Mammoth Foundation (WMF) received in 2022 from the Yakima Fresh Hop Group, as well as other funders, allowed us to increase our 2022 STEM Paleontology, Archaeology, and Geology Summer Camp enrollments. Some of the upgrades we did to increase our participant numbers and meet grant and state requirements were building materials for the 2nd mock dig box with life-size mammoth bone casts, 16’ x 24’ wall tent and floor mats, ADA outhouse, well water test, geology canvas packs with geology tools, additional field archaeology and geology tools, mammoth t-shirts, storage cubes for student’s belongings, and “certificate of participation” for all students.
In 2022, the WMF was able to reach students from underrepresented populations that otherwise would not have been able to attend the summer camps. We were able to develop partnerships with the Union Gap School District and the Yakima School District. These partnerships allowed us to reach 41 youths that were furthest from educational justice. Each district was scheduled a week for their 3-day day camp, and each individual districts would register students who met the criteria. The districts would provide transportation, lunches, and snacks. The Wenas Mammoth Foundation would wave the registration fees for each student and give each student a mammoth t-shirt. This opportunity gave underrepresented students the ability to participate in a local, outdoor scientific environment and learn about local earth science and STEM careers. Funding from the Yakima Fresh Hop Group, Schools Out WA and OSPI, Legends Casino Hotel, Pacific Power Foundation, and the Paleontological Society helped us reach students that otherwise would not have had this educational opportunity.
Our goal was to have a total of five camps this year. We had one camp that reached 26 local K-12 teachers. These teachers learned about local earth sciences, STEM careers, and gain resources to take back to their classrooms. We believe that giving teachers this learning experience not only gives the teachers the opportunity to earn their required 15 STEM clock hours and learn about local earth science, but also the opportunity to share this information with their students. The connection with the teachers has strengthen the relationship between their schools and the WMF through school tours of the dig site and scheduling the WMF to visit their classrooms and science fairs.
The WMF also had 2 weeks of regular camp for beginning and returning students who did not qualify as underrepresented youth. Our beginners learned the methods of archaeology, paleontology, geology, and STEM careers. The return camper visited local geological formations and developed a theory on what the surrounding basalt mountains and the sedimentations of Wenas Mammoth Mountain tells them. These students also used the skills they learned in the beginning archaeology, paleontology, and geology camp to open an actual excavation unit.