Elementary Science Camps

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Due to the Covid19 pandemic, all of our 2021 camps will be virtual. All in-person camps are cancelled until 2022 at the earliest. 

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About Virtual Elementary Camps

Students explore fossils, rocks and minerals, and wildlife with independent and guided activities that arrive in the mail before camp begins! Each day, students will have online explorations and sharing time with instructor Keri Maricle. Camp-kit boxes will include art, craft and experiment supplies, nature specimens (rocks, fossils, etc), and other learning items as selected by the instructional team to be used throughout the week. This is in addition to online resources being used in each camp, and web-meetings for students with staff for lessons, activities, and discussions.

Please keep in mind that we will have students from across time zones, so we are having to be flexible with daily start and end times to not force any student(s) to wake up overly early, or stay up too late. We will be working these out from session to session with families. 

Morning: 

  • Live-chat (Zoom) presentation or discussion with instructional staff to review previous day, go over new content for that day, and preview the next day or two. These live lectures/presentations will typically only be 15-20 minutes at a time (though student questions and conversation will likely extend this timeframe), as we value engagement-based content exploration and student inquiry.
  • introduce projects/activities.
  • Individual or group project work time. We will have Zoom rooms set up for students to talk with each other and the staff during these portions, including getting clarifications. We want the students to be able to socialize with each other as well as ask the staff questions in real-time. 
Afternoon (2x): 
 
  • Second content presentation/discussion with instructional staff, with time included for questions and conversation from the students. 
  • Individual or group activity time, structured as described above for the morning. 
  • Live-chat between students and staff to go over questions from the day, review, and present any additional content as determined needed by the instructional staff to make sure daily content progress goals are staying on track.

Guest speakers are scheduled according to their availability, and therefore may be scheduled during the morning or afternoon portions of the day. 

This schedule is a general approximation. Instructors may make slight adjustments depending on how students are engaging with the program. Once a camp is full or we pass the May registration deadline, we will generate and provide more specific daily schedules for each camp. 

 

*Students may not enroll in overlapping camps.*

Questions? Contact us at SternbergCamps@FHSU.edu, or at 785-639-5249

About In-Person Elementary Camps

*Returning (hopefully) in 2022!*

How to Apply

The final 2021 application deadline is May 1st. We will not review an applicant’s packet for admission until it is 100% complete. We also have early acceptance review deadlines on:

    • January 9th
    • February 13th
    • March 13th
    • April 10th

1st-2nd grade camps: Student applicants must be ages 5 to 7 years old as of June 2021.

3rd-5th grade camps: Student applicants must be ages 8 to 10 years old as of June 2021.

Complete online application.

  • To do this, you will need to set up an account with CampDoc. You can do this by clicking the “Apply Today” link at the top of this page. Once this is done, you’ll be able to log back in to your account as you complete the application process.
  • If you already have an account with CampDoc, simply log in. Your personal information should all be saved from your last application.
  • The waiver can be found in the online application.
  • The financial aid application can be found in the online application.
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Click here to learn more about our scholarship program.

Contact Us

For questions about the Sternberg Science Camps programs, contact us at SternbergCamps@fhsu.edu or 785-639-5249.

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Cancellation Policy

A 10% deposit is paid at the time of registration. Students who are accepted into the camp must then have the remainder of the registration fee paid by the May 16, 2020 payment deadline.

Q: What if my student is not accepted into the camp they applied for? Do you refund tuition?
A: 100% of paid tuition is refunded to any students not accepted to a camp they applied for. This includes the initial deposit paid at the time of initial application.

Q: What is your cancellation and refund policy?
A:
Refund Policy:
Cancellations must be submitted in writing, via email or typed letter. Deposit fees for camp(s) applications are fully refundable until the applicant is officially accepted for admission. Prior to admission, the deposit is fully refundable in the case of cancellation submitted in writing. Denial of application acceptance will result in a full refund of the deposit payment for each camp the applicant was not accepted to. Following application acceptance, the deposit is no longer fully refundable, and each camp registration is held to a minimum 10-percent cancellation fee. For cancellations 30 to 10 days prior to the start of a camp, half of the total fee is refundable. For cancellations made 9 or fewer days prior to the start of the program, no amount of the fee is refundable. Registration fees are non-transferable between applicants or to accepted participants. Funds provided Sternberg Science Camps in the form of any financial scholarship to the participant will be withheld in any case where a scholarship awardee or their parent(s)/guardian(s) cancels an accepted application.

Cancellation Policy:
In the event of a camp being cancelled, either due to insufficient enrollment, sudden onset of extensively unsafe travel conditions, or other unforeseeable impairments, the Sternberg Science Camps will provide a refund of all tuition and/or deposit fees paid up to the point of cancellation. Any scholarship funds awarded to the applicant to aid in attendance will be retained by the Sternberg Science Camps program. We are unable to reimburse the cost of any travel expenses paid to transport successful applicants to and/or from their camp(s). We strongly recommend attendees insure their travel to and from their respective camp(s) being attended.

 Virtual Camps

1st & 2nd graders

1st & 2nd Grader Camp Info

Students explore fossils, rocks and minerals, and wildlife with independent and guided activities that arrive in the mail before camp begins! Each day, students will have online explorations and sharing time with instructor Keri Maricle.

Camp-kit boxes will include art and craft supplies, nature specimens (rocks, fossils, etc), and other learning items as selected by the instructional team to be used throughout the week. 

Staff
Instructor: Keri Maricle

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $144.00
Non-members: $160.00 

Junior Dinosaurs

Content outline:

  • What did dinosaurs eat, and how do we know?
  • Dinosaur babies and families
  • Understanding the latest dinosaur discoveries
  • Feathered dinosaurs
  • What did dinosaurs look and sound like?
  • The first dinosurs
  • Virtual field trips
  • Guest speakers
  • Educational group community-building games
  • Science-themed crafts and hands-on activities

Dates:
Session 1: June 7-11
Session 2: July 12-16

Junior Wildlife Adventures

Content outline:

  • Birds from backyards and beyond
  • Wild cats and dogs
  • Amazing insects big and small
  • Colorful snakes and lizards
  • Elephants and other African giants
  • Fun with fish
  • Virtual field trips
  • Guest speakers
  • Educational group community-building games
  • Science-themed crafts and hands-on activities

Dates:
July 19-23

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 3rd – 5th graders

3rd-5th Grader Camp Info

Our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders will enjoy a deeper dive into earth and life science topics as they explore millions of years of amazing changes our planet has experienced! This camp includes a more advanced activities and exploration kit that will come in the mail. Students can expect more thought-provoking arts and crafts, as well as tools to begin scientific explorations of their own! The group will have daily lessons and sharing times with instructor Keri Maricle. Students can expect a week of learning, challenge, and exploration as they work through the specialized inquiry-focused curriculum.

Camp-kit boxes will include art and craft supplies, nature specimens (rocks, fossils, etc), and other learning items as selected by the instructional team to be used throughout the week. 

Staff:
Instructor: Keri Maricle

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $325
Non-members: $350

Secrets of Reptiles and Amphibians

Content outline:

  • Poison dart frogs
  • Snakes: fangs vs. the squeeze
  • Turtles small and gigantic
  • Lizards from seas to trees
  • Newts and salamanders
  • Crocodiles past and present
  • Virtual field trips
  • Guest speakers
  • Educational  group community-building games
  • Science-themed crafts and hands-on activities

Dates
June 14-18

 

The Time of Dinosaurs

Content outline:

  • Dinosaurs growing up
  • T. rex family reunion
  • Spikes, frills, and armor 
  • Sauropods big and even bigger
  • Dinosaur origins
  • Feathers, beaks, and the first birds
  • Virtual field trips
  • Guest speakers
  • Educational  group community-building games
  • Science-themed crafts and hands-on activities

Dates
Session 1: June 21-25
Session 2: July 5-9

 

Ice Age Beasts

Content outline:

  • Evolution of mammoths and mastodons
  • The first dogs
  • Rise of the sabertooth cats
  • Mammals of unusual size
  • Exploring ancient Australia
  • What causes an ice age
  • Virtual field trips
  • Guest speakers
  • Educational  group community-building games
  • Science-themed crafts and hands-on activities

Dates
June 28 – July 2

 

Sea Creatures Through Time

Content outline:

  • Evolution of whales
  • Ancient sharks
  • Weird and wonderful fish
  • Mosasaurs, ichthyosaurs, and other marine reptiles
  • Crabs, clams, and other invertebrates
  • Finding marine fossils
  • Virtual field trips
  • Guest speakers
  • Educational  group community-building games
  • Science-themed crafts and hands-on activities

Dates
August 2-6

 

Staff 

Keri Maricle – Instructor 

Biologist, Science Educator

Biologist, Science Educator

Keri Maricle is originally from North Texas, and has lived in Hays for the past seven years building an educational background in biology with an emphasis in botany. She graduated with her B.S. in Biology from Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in 2015, and her M.S. in Biology from FHSU in 2017. Maricle taught undergraduate laboratories in biology and botany at FHSU while she was a graduate student from 2015-2017. Currently, Maricle is the biology instructor at Thomas More-Prep Marian where she teaches courses in general biology, advanced biology, as well as human anatomy and physiology. She also works individually with her high school students on research projects to present at science fairs and conferences. In her spare time, Maricle enjoys spending time with her family including planning botanical adventures with her husband (a fellow botanist).

Special Guests!

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Our elementary camps frequently feature special guest appearances by other Sternberg Museum and Fort Hays State University sciences staff! From rattlesnakes with Curtis Schmidt and giant tortoises with Thea Haugen, to exploring Nature Trails research with Dr. Mitch Greer, students have some fantastic opportunities to go behind the scenes with earth and life science activities happening right here in Hays! 

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