Exhibits documenting shark behavior, underwater volcanoes, the Black Plague and the mechanical advantages of pulleys were among the projects on display Tuesday during the CHEP Expo, which showcased the work of students enrolled in OCDE’s Community Home Education Program.
Since 1988 CHEP has offered an array of resources to assist parents who choose to educate their children at home, serving Orange County students from transitional kindergarten through eighth grade.
In addition to providing curriculum and support through a team of certificated educators, the state-funded program also offers tutoring, lesson plans, assessment tools and social activities like field trips and clubs.
“It just really brings that sense of community,” says Patricia Robbins, a CHEP parent and treasurer of the Parent Teacher Organization. “Parents can stay on the site and talk to each other and encourage each other. If we’re having frustrations with how to teach something, we’ll get a different point of view. We all get to know each other and get to know each other’s students.”
The CHEP Expo began modestly as an open house some years back but has since become one of the program’s signature events, occupying nearly an entire building on the OCDE campus.
“Students can show what they’ve learned throughout the year,” Robbins said. “There are so many different facets to learning, and they get to display what their interests and what their passions are.”
On display Tuesday were rows of student projects that drew scientific conclusions — one exhibit exposed the myth of the five-second rule as it relates to food contamination — explained historical events or reflected artistic styles and techniques. Some were eligible for honors.
In an adjacent room, student musicians and dancers participated in CHEP’s annual Variety Show. The expo also featured an engineering contest that challenged students to make vehicles powered by mousetraps, as well as a Young Authors’ Faire, celebrating original books written and illustrated by CHEP students.
For more information about the Community Home Education Program, visit the CHEP website.