Discover how to send secret messages to your friends using special codes. Learn about your surrounding environment and how science will help us protect our planet. Explore how Newton's laws are at work in your favorite sport; and become a young astronaut while exploring the mysteries of the solar system.
Discover how to send secret messages to your friends using special codes! Children learn how to talk with numbers, just like computers, and create their very own code "crackers"! In the afternoon, they become detectives and use their Mad Science observational skills to discover the writer of the "Mystery Letter".
How are we hurting Mother Earth? Discover how science will help us protect our planet. Children will understand the basics of water pollution, acid rain, and the benefits of solar energy. By actively recycling their own garbage, they will make their very own paper to take home and actually use!
What do football players, scientists and ballet dancers have in common? Explore how Newton helps us learn why we move the way we do, and improve the games we play. Campers experiment with games and activities while learning how physical and chemical sciences affect their equipment, movement, and technique.
Play the nature scavenger hunt that combines science exploration with the animal kingdom! Campers learn about life cycles and animal habits, and even replicate an animal's footprints.
Young astronauts explore the mysteries of the solar system. Children will discover how astronauts live and work in space. The sun, the moon, the stars, and gravity are only a few of the things that must be dealt with on this Mad Science space mission.
Do you love to build, design and fix things? Put on your engineer's hat for this exciting week of science activities. You'll also have the chance to become a true Mad Scientists as you learn about chemical reactions that you might encounter in your daily life, and the nature of birds and beasts as you take a walk on the wild side of science.
Check out shapes and why they are so strong! Investigate arches, and geodesic domes. Discover why an egg’s shape is so strong and how you can find this shape in buildings. Test loads and build some bridges when you put on an engineer’s hat and learn about structures.
Find out how wedges, screws and levers help us with our daily lives. Use simple machines to complete different tasks like lifting weights and launching marshmallows. Run through an obstacle course and use teamwork to show how useful simple machines can be.
Become a Mad Science chemist as you learn all about the chemistry things that you encounter everyday in your house and school. Discover how chemical reactions are everywhere and how you can figure out if a chemical change has occurred right before your very eyes. Mix, mush and brew together different chemicals to create things that you can use in this hands-on outdoor chemistry lab.
Where do owls live and what do they eat? How do some bugs walk on water? How do ants collect all their food? These questions and more will be answered with a walk on the wild side of things to explore owls, birds and all kinds of bugs.
How does a camera work? What does a lens do? How do our eyes work? What is a camera obscura? How does film capture light and store an image? How did the idea of motion pictures start and how did early filmmakers figure out how to make images move? All these questions and more will be answered in this hands-on program wherein campers get to experience all aspects of photography.
Explore the inside of your body and learn about the organ systems and the cells that compose them. Discover cool chemical reactions, and how to solve a crime in this hands-on summer science adventure!
The students will be introduced to the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, skeletal, and muscular systems. In the process they will learn about some of the body’s most important parts: the heart, lungs, stomach, brain and more. They will listen to their hearts, build models of their lungs and muscles, and observe the life-like replicas of real organs.
At the Scene of the Crime…
The beginning of the day introduces the campers to the notion of observation and its importance as part of the scientific method. A mock crime scene is examined, information is presented in many formats, and the challenge is to sort and sift through the data in an effort to solve the "crime". Several forensic techniques are also employed toward this effort. The end of the day brings about a conclusion to the "crime", followed by a recap of the information and methods used to ascertain what actually happened.
The campers will be introduced to several cell organelles and their functions. The membrane, mitochondria, nucleus, ribosome, and lysosome will receive most of the attention. At times they will imitate the action of each of these parts with special emphasis on the nucleus and the role of DNA in directing and recreating life. They will learn the basics of the code of life, and they will make a model of a cell including the organelles studied.
What holds atoms and molecules together? What happens to these bonds during chemical reactions? Mad scientists will use this day to study chemical reactions in depth. These reactions will include those that give off heat (exothermic), reactions that require heat (endothermic), reactions that proceed at a very fast pace, reactions that “go to far” and must try to return “home” (to equilibrium), and reactions that proceed in spite of the fact that they shouldn’t.
Explore fundamental “nuts and bolts” of chemistry, starting with the principle of “chemically counting” using the chemists’ unit of measure, a mole. Figure out the contents of a mystery solution using standard chemical reactions, and then campers will apply the principles of analysis in assaying real, off-the-shelf pain relief tablets for aspirin content. Cool molecular model building introduces chemical structure and bonding, and electrochemistry rounds out the day. The topics here range from creating electrical current using chemical systems (exactly as a battery does) to plating (chemically bonding) one metal onto another.
From the earliest flying machines to the first rocket flights, this hands-on program for children ages 7-12 will allow them to build many different flying devices, see how Newton’s Laws of motion help explain how things move and how rockets fly and show them how amazing our Milky Way is.
The “Wright” Stuff
Children will explore the fundamentals of aerodynamics in this hands-on program about how things fly. From the basic principles of flight to building airplanes, testing them in wind tunnels, to hovercraft and balloon helicopter building, children will understand what makes things fly and how different types of aircraft fly. Campers will take home a rubber band powered airplane, various paper airplane designs, balloon helicopters, boomerangs and mini Frisbeesâ.
It’s An Up Thing!
This program will explore the role that wind and the movement of air plays on simple flying devices such as kites, hot air balloons and parachutes. Children will experiment with solar bags, parachutes and build their own kites and windsocks during this hands-on look at early flight.
The Milky Way
What is the Milky Way and how do we know what’s up there? Children will explore the celestial sphere, learn about celestial navigation and build their own sextant, sundial, planisphere and even a refracting telescope while discovering the wonders of the Milky Way.
Sir Isaac Newton was very curious about how things move. Discover Newton’s Laws of Motion and something called inertia in this hands-on program all about motion. Children will experiment to learn how inertia works and how gravity is a physical force that keeps all objects “stuck” to the Earth. They will build a “gravity simulator,” and an “inertia tester” to take home to continue their exploration of motion at home.
Campers will learn the fundamentals of rocketry throughout this day including the parts of a rocket, the stages of rocket flight and how Newton’s third law applies to a rocket traveling to space. The children will build their own Estes Mach 12 rockets, experiment with water rockets and stomp rockets during this fun, day filled with hands-on activities.
This action packed week will focus solely on rockets and the physics of rocket flight and expand on many of the concepts learned in Rockin’ Rockets and Aerodynamics Week 1. After learning the model rocket safety code, campers will build ten different types of rockets and participate in the launching of 6 different rockets during the week-long program. Children will be divided into three groups; altitude trackers, launch preparation and launchers for all rocket launches and will get the opportunity to try all three roles. We recommend this camp for children ages 7-12 however younger children enjoy it as well with a little more help from fellow campers or instructors.
Campers will create a rocket journal that they will use during the camp to record all of their experimental data. They will learn about the parts and functions of a rocket and learn the model rocket safety code. Children will build and launch bog-roll rockets, build Estes Alpha rockets and their own altitude trackers during this exciting introduction to model rocketry.
This program will explore what makes rockets fly, the parts of a rocket are involved in flight, and how energy gets things moving! Children will make and launch Paper Tiger rockets, experiment with devices called “food flingers” and rocket pinwheels and divide into their launch teams to launch Estes Alpha Rockets.
Campers will learn about the history of NASA’s rocket program and begin their exploration of the universe by making devices called “nanorovers.” They will build their own galactic mobiles and create lunar prospectors while they talk about how the galaxy can be explored via rocket flight. The children will end the day with launches of Paper Tiger and Airwalker rockets.
Rocket Propulsion & Recovery
Rockets can travel into space but how are they propelled and how are they recovered? Campers will explore the concepts of propulsion and recovery systems through various hands-on activities. They will compare the features of different types of rockets and even design their own rocket to the moon! The children will prepare and launch X-Ray, Skywinder (or Cosmic Cobra), Quark and Condor rockets at the end of this fun, filled day.
Go for Launch!
The final day in this week long program will focus on rocket transportation, rocket staging and advanced rocket launches. Campers will discover the advantages of rocket staging – attaching small rockets to the tops of larger rockets, create their own rocket that has two stages, and participate in the launching of Redstone, Snitch, and Echostar rockets.
– Red Hot Robots
Join us for a week of fun with amazing robots! In this full week of half-days, learn about the uses of robots in our world and spend time experimenting with super cool red-hot robots. Experiment with sound sensing robots, line-tracking robots, amphibious robots and robots that can even play soccer! Discover the science of circuits and how robots use sensors to explore things around them. Use your skills to build your very own working robot to take home with you!
Ready for Robots
Children will explore the fundamentals of robotics and discover how robots are used through activities and games. They will begin to build their very own “Rockit Robot” that they will take home at the end of the week.
This program will explore the “nuts and bolts” of robots as children will build simple circuits, test for conductors and non-conductors and discover how switches work. Children will make their own “Bugbots” to take home.
Use Your Common Sensors!
Children will explore the concept of sensors and discover what they enable a robot to learn about its environment. They will play games that involve their senses and do activities that involve communication. Children will make their own “Circuit Sensor” to take home.
Campers will learn about Asimov’s “Laws of Robotics” and applications of robotic technology in this fun-filled program. They will continue building their Rockit Robot and make their own “Puppet Robot” to take home.
Children will complete the building of their Rockit Robots and spend time using their imaginations to create robot designs of their own. They will experiment with special robots that play soccer and discover how to program robots via a sequence of commands. Each child will take home their Rockit Robot to continue their exploration of robotics at home.
– Secret Agent Lab
30 hours of fun-filled, hands-on, secret agent themed science activities featuring 10 branded take-home items!
Step into the shoes of a detective—uncover the science involved in evidence gathering and analysis. Using the power of observation and the Inspecti-Kit, our young detectives will have all they need to get started with their investigations. Children use the gear in their kit to find, collect, and analyze evidence. Then they will explore fingerprint analysis and use the Fingerprint Finder to place and identify UV prints.
Explore forensic science in this hands-on look at crime scene investigation. Children use the Case Stamper to stamp out a mystery on a case card, and discover the science of tracking. Got clues? With the Spynoculars, children stealthily observe clues from afar. These build-your-own binoculars are used to test the limits of magnified observation and are a sneaky way to refine observational skills.
Science of Security
Sharpen your surveillance skills with the science of security! Children discover the science and technology behind locks, surveillance systems and burglar alarms! They will use Spyglasses on short surveillance shifts to test their observational abilities. Then, they will put their security skills to the test by building their very own Secret Safe and challenging friends to crack the code!
Sleuths on the Scene
Suspects, schematics, and sleuths… oh my! Connect the dots using science to help solve a crime in this hands-on investigation of the science of sleuthing. Children will use the Scene Solver to reconstruct the scene of a crime. Using the Whodunit-Kit, they can practice their skills of recall and observation—matching character descriptions to reconstruct the face of the culprit!
Look out 007—the Mad Science Spy Academy is in session! From decoding messages to metal detectors and night vision, children will have the opportunity to check out spy equipment and even create their own edible messages! They will use the Secret Code Breaker to communicate in code, like real spies. With the Undercover Observer, children step into the shoes of spies in action. What looks like an ordinary camera is actually a sneaky surveillance device that lets children spy on the side.
Preschool Summer Camp – “The Garden”
“The Garden!” five-session preschool camp offers young children (ages 3-5) an exciting introduction to basic environmental science. Each session is devoted to different aspects of the garden, allowing children to progressively enrich their understanding of how living things grow and how they interact with the environment around them. During the course of each three-hour session, children will perform hands-on experiments, play themed games, and enjoy a snack and story related to the session’s themes. A mural will grow through the course of the program as children illustrate their latest discoveries at the close of each session.
Soil and Seeds
The first session, children will learn where things grow, the different characteristics of seeds, and explore what seeds become. They will perform a seed dissection and compare their seeds to objects like pebbles, learn about the different ways that seeds are planted in nature, and how plants travel through their seeds. Children will make their own seed badges to take home!
Sun, Wind and Rain
In the second session, children will discover what types of weather are vital for a healthy garden. They will, learn to identify basic weather conditions; and perform an experiment to learn about how waterfall and wind shape a garden. Children will make their very own sun visors to wear when they work in a garden!
Plants and Leaves
In the third session, children will explore the different parts of plants and leaves. They will, try some activities to learn more about their characteristics, from performing leaf rubbings to add to their camp journals to examining plants and leaves under a microscope—designed for preschoolers. Children will make their very own Budding Bean necklace to take home!
Flowers, Fruits and Veggies
In the fourth session, children will investigate what plants produce. They examine the different parts of flowers, fruits, and vegetables using their microscopes, create their very own plants and flowers in their journals, and make frame-able prints of fruits and vegetables to take home!
Butterflies, Ladybugs and Bees
In the final session, children will examine the other inhabitants of the garden, including butterflies, ladybugs, and bees, and learn how these creatures help a garden grow. They will learn about pollination, how bugs see, and basic bug anatomy. They will make their own butterfly bracelets to take home, together with the camp journal that they have been working on throughout “The Garden!” camp.
Children will overcome a series of challenges using basic materials, simple machines, tips from famous inventors and the most important of all – their mind. With a little bit of ingenuity children will create catapults and forts, construct working light sticks to take home and assemble a set of circuits with batteries and light bulbs. While Thomas Edison said “invention is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration|, this camp is 100% FUN!
Rock, Paper, ScissorsInventing means curiosity! Leonardo da Vinci started as an artist and developed many scientific observations that he recorded in his notebooks over the course of his lifetime. Children learn about his many discoveries and try their hand at his experiments including writing notes backwards, measuring human proportions, building a self-supporting arch bridge and building catapults. The budding inventors bring home their da Vinci designs and devices at the end of the day.
Inventing means practicality! Inventions and patents to protect an invention were very popular in the late 1800s. Inventors Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla were locked in several battles over electrical inventions of their era. Children work together to form circuits and recreate Tesla's bright atmosphere for the 1893 World's Fair. They talk about sound and learn that anyone, a child, woman or man, can be an inventor. The class moves from simple devices to Rube Goldberg devices and the children perform as parts of a complex human-machine. The children prepare a patent proposal and receive a patent certificate at the end of the camp day.
Inventing means necessity! Archimedes and Benjamin Franklin both created devices to make their society function more smoothly. This day puts children on a deserted island on which they must work together to invent a means for collecting food and water, build shelters, bridges, and learn about density. They use the tools at hand to write messages to send in a bottle and witness a volcanic eruption. The children eventually design a boat to escape the island and bring it home.
Inventing means cooperation! Orville and Wilbur Wright worked together to develop the first self-controlled motorized flying machine. Their team efforts also lead to improved bicycle pedals and faster sleds. Children review technological advances in flight and work together to produce improved paper plane designs. They will work as a group to put historical flight events in chronological order. The children then step into space by launching self-built rockets and loading a payload capsule puzzle. These flight fanatics go home with a squadron of paper airplanes for further test flights.
Inventing means dreaming! Jules Verne and Isaac Asimov wrote about things that would be available in the future. These science fiction writers developed the reality of their current technology into future possibilities. The children develop submarines that rise or sink, wind-up space stations, and design safety capsules for payloads returning from space. They follow a telecommunications timeline and develop one for transportation. The children decipher fact from fiction and play a future-based bingo game. These future inventors get a lesson on lasers, build a light stick and work on protecting a space ship from damaging space rays. The camp wraps up with a robotic relay and the children take home dreams of the future and new planets to explore.
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