Sternberg Museum plans summer camps to inspire passion for science

Sternberg_Extinctions

04/27/15 lar
Paleontology, geology and biology camps will offer elementary, middle and high school students an opportunity to fall in love with science this summer through Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History series of outdoor field camps, day camps and overnight family camping trips.

"Using the spectacular natural history resources of Kansas, the Sternberg Museum education and science staff presents experience-driven lessons and activities that get students directly involved in the process of science," said David Levering, education and outreach director of Sternberg Museum.

During the course of the summer, students of all ages are invited to participate in camps in biology, geology and paleontology.

The field camps promise a new outdoor adventure every day, said Levering. Students will study plant and animal life by participating in field captures of a variety of regional animals, including snakes, small mammals, birds and insects.

Students will also learn to identify different rocks and minerals to discover what the geologic features say about the natural history of an area. Together, the notes, data, field sketches and geologic features will help students understand how ecosystems function.

The integrative paleontology camps feature an outdoor camping experience with lab and classroom components. Students will learn to take field notes, use GPS units, map and compass skills, and proper methods of fossil collection to preserve as much information as possible.

These summer camps will allow students to get excited about science without the added pressures from testing found in a typical classroom setting, said Levering. Students will receive personal guidance from science professionals and an inside look at a day in the life of earth and life scientists.

This is not merely a show-and-tell experience, said Levering, but an opportunity for students to apply the scientific process through collaboration, hypothesis testing and examining evidence to form conclusions.

"The skills, knowledge, confidence and fascination sparked by the hands-on, experience-based learning offered through science camps can lead to improved academic performance, letters of recommendation and a newfound drive to excel towards a career in science," said Levering.

Elementary school students are invited to participate in a series of day camps. Dates are:
Fun with Fossils, Monday, June 22.
Reptiles and Amphibians, Wednesday, June 24.
Bird Biologists, Friday, June 26.
Marvelous Mammals, Monday, June 29.
Plants, Insects and Spiders, Wednesday, July 1.
Rocks and Minerals, Friday, July 3.
Each elementary camp is limited to 12 students. The cost is $60 for members and $70 for non-members.

Middle school students are invited to two weeklong camps. Dates are:
Kansas Field Naturalist, Sunday to Saturday, May 31-June 6.
Paleontology Expedition, Sunday to Saturday, July 19-25.
Each middle school camp is limited to 10 students. The cost is $500 for members and $600 for non-members.

High school students are invited to biology and paleontology camps. Dates are:
Sternberg Biology Camp, Sunday to Saturday, June 14-20.
Sternberg Paleontology Camp, two weeks, Sunday to Saturday, July 5-18.
The biology camp is limited to 10 students and is $500 for members and $600 for non-members. The paleontology camp is limited to 10 students and is $1,000 for members and $1,200 for non-members.

Two weekend family camps will be offered on Saturday to Sunday, May 16-17, and August 15-16. The fee for participants age 13 and older is $75; ages 4-12 is $50; and participants under age 4 are free.

Financial aid is available for summer camps. Interested students should submit a letter of application by Friday, May 8.

For more information or to register for the camps, visit http://sternberg.fhsu.edu/active-learning/camps/ or contact Levering at 785-639-5249 or by email at dalevering@fhsu.edu.

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