In my last blog I talked about the many different kinds of educational summer camps available for children. In particular, I saw the great range of incredible programs in the field of science camps. Today I wanted to take a closer look at some of the bigger science camps. If you have a kid that could use a little jolt to get them fired up about science, here are some good places to start.
Sally Ride Science Camp – Named after the late school teacher turned astronaut, these camps are geared towards girls from fourth grade through ninth grade. Hosted by five different universities in California, the programs are innovative hands-on style camps that allow girls to explore science in all its facets.
Destination Science — These camps, for children of all ages, have several different science focuses (all of which, like the Coaster Designer camp, sound really fun), and have recently expanded to become available in five different states. If you live in New York, Florida, Washington, California, or Texas look to see if this camp is being hosted near you.
BEST and GAS – Hosted by Vanderbilt University every year, these companion programs are highly respected science camps for boys and for girls. BEST is Boys Exploring Science and Technology, and GAS is Girls and Science. In 1999, GAS was started in response to overall lower science scores for females in middle school and high school, to get girls more involved with and excited about science. The camp was such a success that BEST was started five years later, based on the same program model. Some of the wide array of experiments the kids get to perform involve chemistry, biology, physics, forensics, and environmental studies. Each session of camp lasts for five day sessions, and costs two hundred dollars.
Camp Kennedy Space Center – Every summer NASA and Kennedy Space Center in Florida offer week-long day camps to show children (from second grade through ninth grade) the world of space exploration. After covering some scientific basics of ecology and chemistry, students will meet and learn from astronauts, engage in astronaut training and shuttle simulations, and even tour the space center, space shuttle launch pad and landing facility. In 2013 there are nine week-long camps, as well as a recently added Spring camp in march.
iD Tech Camps – Over sixty different universities (including MIT, Stanford, and Harvard) all work together to host these, one of the top computer day camps in the country, throughout the year. Some of the features of the iD Tech Camps are small class size (a maximum of eight students per teacher) and different focuses including Software App Development, Robotics Engineering, Digital Photography and Filmmaking, Web Design, 3D Animation, and Video Game Design. With different camps aimed at different age groups, iD Tech has honed their program over fifteen years to appeal to every child and get them excited about computer science.