Over the past three years, we have seen first-hand the life-changing impacts our camp programs can have on students. Some of our proudest success stories are students who, with the help of our scholarship program, have attended multiple years and are now off to college with advanced skills, knowledge, and inspiration to pursue their interests in science. We believe that the curiosity and sense of wonder derived from time learning and observing in the field are immensely valuable. Our feedback from students and parents overwhelmingly supports this outlook.
Since 2014, the Sternberg Science Camps program has provided nearly $9,000 in financial aid to students from low-income families. Every dollar of our financial aid fund is provided by generous donors who share our belief that opportunities to explore science and nature should be available to as many students as possible. We use a combination of need and merit metrics to determine how much aid is provided to each student. Need is determined by the student’s qualification for reduced price or free lunches at school. We determine merit by evaluating letters of interest written by the student applicants (all camps), and respective letters of recommendation by science or math teachers (middle and high school only).
Every dollar raised for financial aid is used to help students fascinated with earth and life science access life changing opportunities to learn new skills, build knowledge, and make friends with similar interests. We pride these camps on feeding participant’s academic interests in challenging, supportive environments. Along with science content, we emphasize outdoor skills, problem solving, and respect for the planet. It is our belief that our next generation of earth and life scientists should have ample opportunity to explore our world, get their hands dirty, and find their own questions out in nature.
We are seeking groups, individuals, and corporate entities interested in sponsoring specific camp program scholarships. Each scholarship sponsorship opportunity is listed below with the amount needed to provide a respective full ride scholarship. Naming opportunities are available for specific sponsored scholarships upon request. Scholarship recipients are required to write thank you letters following their camp program, which are provided to sponsoring persons and organizations.
This scholarship provides the student applicant with a full tuition scholarship for our international travel program, pays for the cost of a passport, and covers all domestic and international airfare. By offering full-ride scholarships to our international travel programs, students driven by an interest in field science will receive invaluable and unmatched experiences in biological sciences, conservation, field skills, and logistics of international travel. These lessons and skills can make an immense difference on applications for college admission, scholarships and grants, and internships working for researchers. We want to make these experiences as accessible as possible to bright, driven students regardless of their family’s finances.
Paleontology offers us a window into the history of life on earth, from its earliest forms to its devastation and recovery from mass extinction, and everything in between. During the high school paleontology camp, students are trained in essentials of field paleontology during supervised digs and prospecting. Proper use of tools, documentation and note taking, outdoor safety, and navigation skills are all major points of emphasis in training students to be paleontologists. Along the way, staff provide in-depth advanced content during discussion sessions derived from questions generated by the students themselves. Staff encourages students to develop their questions, and ask about topics they are interested in.
Well-trained field biologists will be ever more important in the coming years and decades, to more fully understand the breadth and intricacy of life and living systems we interact with every day. Our goal with the high school field biology camp is to introduce students interested in biological sciences to essential skills, techniques, and tools in a challenging, supportive environment. Students work with professional biological scientist in the field on active research projects, obtaining invaluable hands-on experience and training. Advanced academic content is provided to students through discussion sessions directed by student questions about biology, pursuing science in college, and how to be a good scientist.
Our middle school outdoor camps provide students an early experience with camping, outdoor etiquette, and getting truly excited about getting out into the field exploring. For these camps, staff emphasizes building basic outdoor skills and appreciation for nature. This is done using the spectacular landscapes, wildlife, and geology of our field areas. While some have been camping before with family, these camps allow the students to engage with topics they are interested out in nature with trained professionals, providing a robust, enriching educational experience.
For many of our elementary student participants, these day camps are their an excellent opportunity to supplement their growing interests in nature and science. Using a combination of classroom activities and outdoor exploring on our on-site nature trails, students are given a wide range of activities to get them excited about science!