High School 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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Benefits

  • Students work with professional scientists and science educators.
  • High staff to student ratio, typically with one staff member for every 3-5 students.
  • Challenging, college-level academic content in earth and life sciences.
  • Focus on building outdoor, research, leadership, and academic skills.
  • Students guided into being better question-driven self-driven learners.
  • Guidance for pursuing a career in the earth or life sciences, and related fields.
  • Peer group of students with similar interests, motivations, and ambitions.

About Virtual High School Camps

Camp Kits
All of our online camps include a box of materials mailed to students for use during that respective camp. Items are selected by instructors as part of the curriculum, and organized for use in guided and independent activities. This is in addition to online resources being used in each camp, and virtual synchronous meeting times for students with staff for lessons, activities, and discussions. Students from outside the United States who are accepted to one or more virtual camps will be charged an additional fee for shipping of the Camp Kit. This additional fee will be determined by the shipping destination. Please feel free to contact the Camps Director with questions at DALevering@FHSU.edu

Past kits have included items such as:

  • Skull casts
  • Electronic calipers
  • Anatomical models
  • Professional specialty science texts
  • Rock/mineral samples
  • Geologist hand lenses
  • USB cameras
  • Professional illustration and sculpting supplies

2020 virtual camp student with a primate skull cast.

A Virtual Science World: 
This summer, we are implementing a new set of virtual exploration-based group learning spaces using the online platform GatherTown. This system will allow students and staff to engage in group interactive games and science exploration inside custom-built interactive virtual field areas, and a virtual museum. While we aren’t yet ready to show off the entire new virtual Sternberg Camp world, we’re immensely excited about the new opportunities it will bring us this summer! If you’d like sneak peaks at our progress, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, where we’ll be posting small previews!

A tiny preview of what we have in store for our virtual exploration spaces this summer!

Please keep in mind that we will have students from across time zones, so each camp must 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 not know exact daily start times for each camp until after it has filled, or after the final application deadline.

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.
  • Go over projects and activities. Do progress checks on larger scale projects.
  • Individual or group project work time. We will have Zoom rooms set up so students can talk with each other and the staff during these portions. We want the students to be able to socialize with each other as well as ask the staff questions in real-time. 
Afternoon:
 
  • Games and other group activities inside the GatherTown virtual learning and exploration spaces we will be using.
  • Second content presentation/discussion with instructional staff, with time included for questions and conversation from the students. 
  • Individual or group project time, structured as described above for the morning. 
  • Formal check-in via 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. (We also have contingencies for if students master the planned content quickly, so we can continue to challenge and engage the students with new skills and information.)

Evening:

  • Note that evening activities are not everyday, and are not considered “required”. They are designed to be valuable bonus opportunities for students.
  • Prompted Q&A sessions, where students bring questions to pose to staff about previously announced topics (applying to college, working with faculty, finding internships, specific science subjects related to the camp, etc). 
  • Documentary/movie watch parties, with students and staff watching a program with opportunities to discuss what they are seeing and interpreting the “movie science”, or questions students may have about content in the documentary. 
  • Additional virtual world group exploration games.

 

*Students may not enroll in overlapping camps.*

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

Virtual Camps Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the application deadline?
    • The final 2021 application deadline is May 1st. We have early acceptance review deadlines on:
      • January 9th
      • February 13th
      • March 13th
      • April 10th
    • Many of our camps fill up before the final deadline, and we recommend completing your application prior to the deadline. 
  2. How much time will be spent with online lectures each day?
    • This will depend on the age group to an extent. We certainly won’t have as much live online lecturing for elementary schoolers as high schoolers, for example. A safe range will probably be anywhere from forty minutes to two hours of live instructor-directed content delivery; at the high school level, there may be some days that extend beyond this, though they should be infrequent. 
    • We will also be using some pre-recorded mini-lectures for some flexible content delivery. Typically this will mean a powerpoint presentation with recorded voiceover by the instructor or teaching assistant. Students will be given time to watch these videos and do any individual or group work associated with it. 
  3. How will you keep the students from getting bored?
    • We’ll be using a blend of learning and engagement approaches to keep things fresh and interesting throughout each camp. This will include, but is not limited to:
      • Guest speakers
      • Problem-solving games
      • Single and multi-day projects done individually or in groups via web-chat
      • Screen-share documentary viewings as a group, with time to chat and ask questions
      • Skill development activities
      • Remote field trips to outdoor areas, museums, labs, and more
      • Q&A sessions with staff and guest scientists/educators
  4. What time will camp start/end each day?
    • As our students are from across the United States (and beyond, in some cases), we aren’t going to know a specific daily schedule for each camp until after it completely fills up, or we pass the application deadline on May 23rd. We want to make sure the daily schedule for each camp is workable for all of the students across time zones, so no one is forced to get up super early, or go to bed super late. Once we have groups locked in for each respective camp, we will be in communication with participants about scheduling live-chat portions of their camp.
  5. What is a “virtual field trip”?
    • Camps staff and/or guest presenters will do a live-video from a museum, lab, or field area, with students viewing and using the text chat feature to make comments and ask questions. Locations visited will vary widely between respective camps. 
  6. Does your staff have any training in special education for students with special needs?
    • This is not an area of education our staff has training in. While we have some capacity to accommodate low-impact special needs with advanced notice, and communication with parents and teachers, moderate to severe needs are outside the scope of our abilities. There are a number of other camp programs out there that offer programs with robustly trained staff to help special-needs students have the best experience possible at camp!

       

About In-Person High School Camps

*Returning (hopefully) in 2022!*

Core Philosophies

The Sternberg Museum Science Camp programs are built around a core philosophy of student development and advancement. We train our students with dedicated lessons and by example, giving them new tools and knowledge to use as they pursue their goals. To paraphrase many of our past students, it will be the most challenging, amazingly fun thing you’ve done!

Active Hands-on Learning
Working with professional scientists, students learn to work with data and specimens using authentic techniques and equipment. Data collected is incorporated into ongoing research projects. Students are introduced to the ins and outs of research structuring, and how to apply techniques taught at camp as general tools for their future endeavors. Special emphasis is placed on preparing students to pursue research projects in college.

Skill-Building
Having a core set of professional skills can be incredibly valuable for students looking to advance their opportunities in the natural sciences. By introducing and developing these essential and specialized skills, we train our students to be productive, competitive, and prepared for work in science beyond the classroom.

Empowerment
Using active learning techniques, we challenge our students to think about science beyond raw facts and figures. Our staff implement challenging learning games and problem-solving scenarios, guiding our students as they learn to consider and connect their knowledge in a comprehensive fashion. In our field-based camps, our students are taught to safely and responsibly carry out our field tasks in a variety of favorable and adverse conditions. In doing this, students discover their own depths of resilience and strength. Students are taught to monitor themselves and others in their team, and take initiative to get the job done right. In our virtual camps, we exchange field tasks for higher level cognitive skills and professional development. In each type of program, students are uniquely trained to take on future novel academic and professional challenges. 

“This camp experience provided many “firsts” for me. I had never camped in a tent before; I had never been away from family for that length of time; and I learned that given a significant purpose, I had endurance beyond my belief. It was definitely the highlight of my year.” – Alex Landwehr, Sternberg Camps alumni

Advanced Academics
We introduce our students to foundational concepts in earth and life sciences to start out our programs. From the Law of Superposition to the population basis for evolution by natural selection, students are set up to learn content quickly as we build understanding through observations and focused discussions. Our staff are broadly trained in the topics of their respective camps, and are excited to engage with student questions. We use research-backed teaching strategies to make advanced content engaging, accessible, and fun!

Fun
We are program built for science geeks, by science geeks. We love spending time in the field or in the lab, and want to make sure our students see that while science can be hard work, it’s also a ton of fun. Networking and peer-group-building are also immensely important for us, as such connections are crucial for any aspiring future professional. We strive to keep the work of field, lab, and classroom science balanced with a healthy dose of laughter!

Staff

Our camps staff are professional scientists and science educators, graduate students, undergraduates, and select program alumni. We value a wide range of professional skills and career paths, in order to provide a broad set of skills training and perspective to our students. All of our staff are deeply passionate about science outreach and education in addition to their professional specializations.

Each field-based program includes at least one staff member with a Wilderness First Responder certification, ensuring quick, decisive action when dealing with any kind of injury or health concern in the field.

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


Student applicants must be ages 14 to 18 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.
  • 2 page (5-7 paragraph) letter of interest from the student applicant.
    • You can find suggestions for writing your letter of interest here.
    • This must be submitted through the CampDoc application system.
  • Letter of recommendation from the non-family member for the student applicant.
    • This must be submitted through the CampDoc application system.
    • You can find instructions for recommendation letter-writers here.
    • Returning students in good standing do not need to submit a recommendation letter.
      • Standing is determined by staff. A student not in good standing will be expressly notified by the Camps Director.

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 June 1st, 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 via email. 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, 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.

For answers to more possible questions, see our Frequently Asked Questions page!

Contact Us

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

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Virtual Camps 

Block 1:
June 13 – June 25, 2021

The Fossil Record

Students will explore an advanced overview of the history of ancient life, from the advent of the first fossil organisms to the giant mammals that lived alongside our early human ancestors. This camp will challenge participants with scientific methods and concepts that go beyond usual paleontology texts and documentaries, using case studies to build critical thinking and information management skills. 

Content outline:

  • Reading the rock record
  • Kinds of fossils
  • Fossils through human history
  • The first fossilized life
  • Early diversification and extinction 
  • The first reptiles and mammals
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

Staff
(Instructional staff TBD)

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Paleontology Illustration 1

Paleontology Illustration 1 camp brings students into the world of professional paleo-art through traditional and digital media. Here, we use a variety of creative projects and lessons to build on student’s current skills, and hone more advanced approaches introduced in the camp. 

Content outline:

  • Traditional media techniques: graphite, watercolor, ink
  • Observation techniques
  • Specimen illustration
  • Drawing live animals from webcams
  • Lighting and photographic subjects
  • Sci-fi/fantasy creature design
  • General drawing skills
  • Reconstructing extinct animals
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Assessing and understanding professional paleo-art

 

Staff
Instructor: Reid Psaltis  @Trimetrodon on Instagram

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Notes
Application for this camp requires submission of an artwork portfolio, which must be submitted as digital files through the CampDoc application system. Students must upload four images of their own works before their application will be considered complete and ready for review.

Deciphering Cryptozoology

Mythological creatures (aka cryptids) offer a great pathway to exploring the methods and practices of professional science, including recognizing good versus bad data, and generating honest, defensible conclusions. Students will use modern and historical examples of cryptids as they work through critical-thinking problems and mini-projects focused on analysis of evidence and data sets. 

Content outline:

  • Myths, legends, and folklore
  • Occam’s Razor and the search for explanations
  • Cryptids through the ages
  • Separating science from fiction
  • Good data, bad data, and ugly data
  • Critical analysis of truth in the myths
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

     

Staff
Instructor: Catherine Sartin

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

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Block 2:
June 27 – July 9, 2021

Volcano Science

From the explosive Mount St. Helens to the fire-fountains on Hawaii, volcanoes are fascinating, diverse, and beautifully complex earth-systems. Variations in everything from water content, minerals, and super-heated gases in magma can have incredible effects on eruptive types, and the rocks formed from erupted lava. Students will examine the inner-workings of these systems, and learns how modern geologists are using new technology to better understand volcanoes and the dangers they present. 

Content outline:

  • Sources of molten rock 
  • Volcanic rocks and minerals
  • Modern tools in geological sciences
  • Explosions, liquid rocks, and eruptions
  • The amazing power of super-heated water
  • Volcanic hazards
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

     

Staff
Instructor: Gui Aksit

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Paleontology Illustration 2

Paleontology Illustration 2 builds on the skills and projects of the introductory paleo illustration camp with the addition of digital art tools and techniques. Students will learn to translate physical media skills into digital projects, including a scientific infographic like those seen in popular science magazines, online articles, and research papers. 

Content outline:

  • Digital media applications
  • Designing scientific infographics
  • General drawing skills
  • Observation techniques
  • Reconstructing extinct animals
  • Sculpting reference models
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Assessing and understanding professional paleo-art

     

Staff
Instructor: Reid Psaltis (@Trimetrodon on Instagram)

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220


Notes

Paleontology Illustration 2 camp requires students have already participated in our introductory high school paleontology illustration camp. This includes the Paleontology Technical Illustration camp (2020) and Paleontology Illustration 1 (2021). Students who apply to Paleontology Illustration 2 without already having completed Paleontology Technical Illustration in 2020, or also signing up for Paleontology Illustration 1 for 2021 will not be admitted. This camp builds on more advanced themes of those required camps. Students may not substitute other art or science programs they have completed to fulfill this requirement. 

Dinosaur Science

This is a rigorous academic camp perfect for the dinosaur fanatic high schooler looking to build their critical thinking and research methods awareness. Students are challenged to engage with professional research literature and analytical methods as they explore the evolution, ecology, and biology of dinosaurs.

Content outline:

  • Evolution and diversity of the Dinosauria
  • History of dinosaur science
  • Modern research tools and techniques
  • Key anatomical features
  • Interpreting ancient behavior
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

     

Staff
Instructor: Catherine Sartin

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

The Cambrian Explosion

Join us as we travel back 540 million years to explore the weird and amazing life of the Cambrian! Students will dive into the evolutionary factors that led to one of the greatest periods of diversification in our planet’s history. As they explore these early animals, including some of the earliest pre-vertebrates, students will build on their critical thinking and problem-solving skills through group games and projects. 

Content outline:

  • Causes of diversification
  • Key Cambrian fossil sites around the world
  • Body fossils and trace fossils
  • Trilobites large and small
  • Cambrian predators and prey
  • Anatomical revolutions
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

     

Staff
(Instructional staff TBD)

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Evolution of Venoms and Poisons

Toxic chemical compounds produced by animals provide some of the most complex and fascinating evolutionary stories in nature! In this camp, students will learn about the different chemical and biological mechanisms of venoms and poisons, from snakes and wasps, to beautiful but deadly poison dart frogs.

Content outline:

  • Evolution of toxin chemistry
  • Poison versus venom
  • Classification of venoms and poisons
  • Biochemical arms races and toxin resistance
  • Painful versus deadly
  • Medical advances from biological toxins
  • Angles of attack: how biological toxins affect victim’s tissues
  • Self immunity by toxin-producing organisms
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

     

Staff
(Instructional staff TBD)

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

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Block 3:
July 11 – July 23, 2021

Fossilization: From Bone to Stone

The process of ancient life being preserved in the fossil record is a fascinating mix of geology, chemistry, and biology that can result in a wide range of preservation types and qualities. Students will explore some of the most fossil sites in the world, and the unique conditions that make those places treasure troves of paleontology research. 

Content outline:

  • Classifying kinds of fossils
  • Requirements for fossilization
  • Reading the rock layers
  • Chemistry of preservation
  • Hard versus soft tissue preservation
  • Exploring exceptional preservation
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

     

Staff
Instructor: Catherine Sartin

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Geology in Space

Join us for a two-week exploration of the planetary geology of our solar system and beyond! Students will hone analytical thinking skills as they apply Earth-based geological principles and amazing technology to explore other worlds near and far.

Content outline:

  • Formation of planets and solar systems
  • Volcanoes on other worlds
  • Technology for exploring alien geology
  • Atmospheres and oceans on other planets
  • Earthquakes in space
  • Rocky versus gaseous planets
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

     

Staff
Instructor: Gui Aksit

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Permian Paleontology

Before the dinosaurs ruled the Earth, the ancestors of crocodiles, snakes and lizards, and mammals spread and diversified across the single super-continent of Pangaea. Beyond the charismatic terrestrial vertebrates, students will also explore the giant insects and marine invertebrates that inform our understanding of this remarkable period in the history of life on our planet. 

Content outline:

  • Permian Seas
  • Ecosystems of Pangaea
  • Giant Insects
  • The first large land vertebrates
  • Ancestors of dinosaurs and mammals
  • The Great Dying extinction event
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

Staff
(Instructional staff TBD)

 

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Climate Change Policy and Ethics

In our rapidly changing world, using honest, quality science to inform our strategies and policies is more important than ever. In this camp, students will learn about the well-established science behind our understanding of modern climate change, and how they can become involved in policy processes in their own communities and beyond.  

Content outline:

  • Sources of global climate change past and present
  • Climate change modeling
  • Impacts of a changing climate
  • Advocacy and activism
  • The deliberate undermining of climate change science
  • Making a difference now, and in the future
  • Becoming engaged in public policy process
  • Running for office on fighting climate change
  • Writing functional legislation
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials
     

Staff
(Instructional Team TBD)

 

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Animal Behavior

Understanding animal behaviors, from migration to reproduction, is a crucial facet of understanding ecosystem processes and organism interactions. By studying animal behaviors, we can generate better methods to conserve species, protect habitats, and reduce human impact on wildlife communities. Students will engage with case studies and research-based activities as they explore why animals do the things they do. 

Content outline:

  • Raising the babies
  • Migration
  • Mating displays and selection
  • Animal engineers big and small
  • Hunting and avoiding predators
  • Animal societies
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

Staff
(Instructional staff TBD)

 

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

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Block 4:
July 25 – August 6, 2021

Mass Extinctions

Over the course of life on Earth, there have been five major extinction events, each with exceptional conditions that lead to massive loss of biodiversity on land and in the oceans. Students will explore the similarities and differences between these extinction events, using scientific literature and data-based lessons and activities. 

Content outline:

  • Understanding the five major mass-extinctions
  • Extinction ecology
  • Post-extinction recovery 
  • Evolutionary selection and diversification
  • Modern extinctions and causes
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

     

Staff
Instructor: Catherine Sartin

 

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Gems and Metals

Students will delve deep inside the Earth, as they explore the formation of some of our most valuable geological resources, from precious stones to rare metals. We will explore the properties that give minerals their valuable qualities, and the immense role they play in our daily lives. 

Content outline:

  • Properties of minerals and metals 
  • Formation in the earth
  • Modern mining practices
  • Past, present, and future uses
  • The geology of modern technology
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials

Staff
(Instructional staff TBD)

 

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Astro-Biology

Join us for a two-week exploration of our search for life on planets elsewhere in the universe! Students will learn about conditions scientists look for in assessing a planet for habitability, and the high-tech tools used to peer deep into space at other worlds.

Content outline:

  • Signs of life on other worlds
  • Conditions needed for life
  • Lessons from extreme life on Earth
  • The modern search for extraterrestrial life
  • Telescopes, satellites, and the light of life
  • The chemistry of life
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials


Staff
(Instructional Staff TBD)

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Paleontology Sculpture

This new camp gets students hands-on with creating 3D reconstructions of prehistoric organisms with projects centered on museum exhibit design and models for illustration. Participants will receive a camp kit full of supplies to build multiple anatomical reconstruction models using lessons on professional tools and techniques. 

Content outline:

  • Sculpture techniques for exhibit 
  • Multiple clay media techniques
  • Armature construction
  • Animal anatomy
  • Mold making and casting
  • Reconstructing extinct animals 
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Assessing and understanding professional paleo-art


Staff
Instructor: Reid Psaltis

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

Rise of the Giant Mammals

Following the Cretaceous extinction, the Earth saw a remarkable diversification of mammals no longer restrained by the ecological dominance of the non-avian dinosaurs. Over the next fifty million years, mammals would diversify into an incredible array of forms enormous to tiny, over the land, seas, and air! 

Content outline:

  • Diversification after the Cretaceous extinction
  • Evolution of mammal body and locomotion
  • Finding and collecting data from online databases
  • 3D scanning technology in paleontology
  • Analyzing fossils for research
  • Exploring famous mammal fossil sites in US
  • Group inquiry projects
  • Lessons and discussions lead by instructional staff
  • Guest presenters
  • Virtual field trips
  • Educational games and group community-building activities
  • Research article reading tutorials
     

Staff
(Instructional staff not yet finalized)

Cost per student per session
Sternberg Museum members: $1,100
Non-members: $1,220

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