4-H Camps Emphasize Science

Special summer 4-H sessions focus on science, technology, engineering and math education in a fun, hands-on way.

Published on: Apr 26, 2013

For most kids, summer means a well-deserved extended break from school.

"But it's so important to continue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the summer -- but to do it in a fun, hands-on way outside of the classroom," says Sally McClaskey, program coordinator with Ohio State University Extension's 4-H Youth Development program. 

That's why she is coordinating two science camps for kids this summer -- a day camp and an overnight camp.

Both will be hosted at Ohio State's Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, and are part of the science, technology, engineering and math offerings by OSU Extension's 4-H program. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

4-H Camps Emphasize Science
4-H Camps Emphasize Science

The camps are:

4-H Astrocamp, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 24-28. This is being offered for the first time in Columbus, but is based on the consistently sold-out Ohio 4-H Space Adventure Camp held at Marietta College each year, McClaskey says.

"I've wanted to do this camp in Columbus for a long time, but this year the stars aligned, so to speak," McClaskey says. "I've been able to work with a post-doctoral researcher in Ohio State's Department of Astronomy who is helping design activities and recruiting her colleagues to assist with the camp."

At this day camp, participants will investigate the solar system, learn about space travel from a NASA expert, and discover information about stars, meteors, comets and solar observation with hands-on activities and experiments. In addition, they'll learn about flight by building rockets and hot air balloons and by keeping a flight log. Fee is $190 and includes activities, supplies, a camp T-shirt, snacks, and Friday lunch. Limited to 30 participants who will be entering grades 4, 5 or 6 in fall 2013. 

4-H Camp Tech, from 9 a.m. July 18 to noon July 20. At this overnight camp, participants will build and program a robot using a LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit; discover the basics of electrical and mechanical design by constructing a can lamp; go on a treasure hunt using a GPS receiver; and test their engineering skills by building a hammock and a table.

"This is the third year for Camp Tech, but we have expanded it each year," McClaskey says. "The first year, we focused mostly on robotics, and last year we included some engineering design. This year, we're adding a bit of basic coding. There's really a lot of workforce prep and college prep involved in what we do at Camp Tech, but it's all hands-on and the kids really enjoy it."

Fee is $190 and includes all supplies, meals, snacks, insurance, and overnight accommodations in a student dormitory. Limited to 24 participants who will be entering grades 6, 7 and 8 in fall 2013.

For more information or to register, go online or contact McClaskey at 614-247-8141 or mcclaskey.12@osu.edu.