Nine-year-old Makena Matherly was making flan and Rice Krispie treats shaped like sushi in a summer class at Trident Technical College, blissfully unaware that she also was working on math skills as she weighed and measured the ingredients.
The International Sweet Treats class is part of Trident's Kids College, an annual series of summer courses for children, which are designed to be educational and fun, said Michele Shinn, a director in Trident Tech's continuing education division. This year, the program is offering 157 sections of 100 different weeklong camps at the college's four campuses and at sites in Hollywood and Dorchester County. The half-day camps include classes in cooking, computer technology, art, science and math.
Makena said she loved her class, "There's no bad parts about this class," she said. "It's super awesome and other kids should take it."
Stuart Morton, who is 8 years old, said he took the class because "my dad wanted sweets and I love sweets, and I want to know how to make them."
Instructor Laura Hunt, who also teaches baking and pastry making at Trident Tech, said she has taught the summer youth class for the past three years. Some students take the class more than once, she said. "We have repeat customers. I guess they enjoy it."
Shinn said the Kids College has been running for the past 17 years. It started with only 12 children attending four camps.
Trident Tech President Mary Thornley launched the program to inspire children to pursue higher education and to raise awareness about Trident Tech and its role in the community, Shinn said.
Kids College serves children between 7 and 16 years old. It runs June 9 through Aug. 8, and some sections still have openings.
Courses range in price from $99 to $199.
Shinn said the program brings in between $250,000 and $300,000 each summer before expenses. And the continuing education division doesn't receive any financial support from the state, she said. "It makes some money," she said. "But it's not a huge money-maker."
Kids College uses certified teachers, she said, or people who have expertise in a particular field. And instructors teach in ways that engage children, she said. "They even like math here."
Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491
Ava Hensley, 8, on left, and Nina Jansen, 10, mix cereal into a bowl of butter and marshmallows to make a sushi treat during Trident Technical College’s Kids College, a week-long camp, Thursday, June 26, 2014 in North Charleston.×