Science Camps Student Testimonials

Brandon Schmidt with a millipede found during Southwest Biology Camp.

Brandon Schmidt with a millipede found during Southwest Biology Camp.

 

“This trip, overall, was the greatest life changing experience for me. It was like being so far away from all my troubles and so close to nature, and it gave me a sense of fulfillment. I like to say that it took nine days and 2,800 miles in total to make me feel as though I’m certain that I want to dedicate my life to biology and the natural sciences.”

– Brandon Schmidt (Iowa), Southwest Biology Camp student (2018)

Katie Gatlin at our Miocene paleontology site, where students excavated fossil plants and vertebrates.

Katie Gatlin at our Miocene paleontology site, where students excavated fossil plants and vertebrates.

“As a student, your education programs have helped me grow exponentially. The lessons taught to me by your incredible staff have stayed with me since my first attendance in 2015 as a sixth grader. Each of them I routinely use both in school, and out. My time in your programs has led me down a path I will continue to follow over the course of my life. With my intentions of becoming a paleontologist, your work has allowed me to see what I enjoy most in the fields of science. I feel honored to be learning with such a brilliant group of not only staff, but peers as well. Having the opportunity to pursue something I’ve wanted to for the majority of my life is truly remarkable.”

– Katie Gatlin (Oklahoma); Student in Paleontology Expedition Camp (2015, 2017), Utah Naturalist Camp (2016), & Sternberg Paleontology Camp (2018)

Everett Gray showing off a fish fossil found while prospecting in Kansas.

Everett Gray showing off a fish fossil found while prospecting in Kansas.

“The Sternberg Paleontology Field Camp was an amazing experience that I will never forget. Prehistoric times have always been an interest of mine, from the moment I learned about dinosaurs in preschool up until now. At the Sternberg Paleontology Field Camp, I learned more about paleontology than I could have ever imagined. This interest will persist, and I hope to attend the Sternberg Camp next year to experience the field work of paleontology once again. I plan on graduating in 2020, and applying to the University of Texas or another in-state school to study my many scientific interests such as paleontology.”

– Everett Gray (Texas), Sternberg Paleontology Camp (2018)

Alex Landwehr working on undercutting a plaster-jacketed fossil fish.

Alex Landwehr working on undercutting a plaster-jacketed fossil fish.

“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 (Kansas), Sternberg Paleontology Camp student (2017, 2018)

Camps TA Marjie Cone with a piece of fossilized fish bone.

Camps TA Marjie Cone with a piece of fossilized fish bone.

I have been participating in the Sternberg’s summer science camps for 4 years, and I have been an employee for the past 3 years. When I participated in my first camp, Paleontology camp of 2015, I knew that when I grew up I wanted to pursue Paleontology, but it was the camp that really got me hooked. The camps provided me my first real experience of field work. I love it so much that I keep coming back! This student education program with the Sternberg has enhanced my knowledge of my field of study. Teaching and participating in these programs is not only a pleasure, but I know that it has also increased my leadership abilities and scientific merit; therefore building more confidence in myself as a woman pursuing scientific studies.

– Marjie Cone (Illinois), Sternberg Paleontology Camp (2015), Southwest Biology Camp (2016), Expedition Ecuador (2017); Counselor (2016 & 2017), Teaching Assistant (2018), Program Development Assistant (present)

Camps TA Maggie Wolf with a spider during Southwest Biology Camp.

Camps TA Maggie Wolf with a spider during Southwest Biology Camp.

“The experiences I had were incredibly unique and valuable, and have helped me to gain an advantage in school. For example, this year, I took AP Biology, which was a difficult course because much of the material was unfamiliar and complex. The concepts we covered at camp helped me to have a solid knowledge base that I was able to build upon, allowing me to do better overall in the class. I greatly enjoyed the social interactions at the camp as well, and enjoyed making friends with interests similar to my own.”

– Maggie Wolf (Kansas), Sternberg Paleontology Camp (2015), Southwest Biology Camp (2016), Expedition Ecuador (2017); Teaching Assistant (2018); Field Biology Data Manager (present)

Southwest Biology Camp student Colton Farra, holding a bat captured during a data collection survey in New Mexico.

Southwest Biology Camp student Colton Farra, holding a bat captured during a data collection survey in New Mexico.

“One of the most beneficial activities in this program was the inclusion of scientific discussions at the end of each day to help us have a clear understanding of what we were doing and seeing. I found the questions that revolved around college and education to be most helpful in assisting me to choose the best route for my future education. I couldn’t be more thankful for the scientific discussions. My favorite area that we explored had to be White Sands National Monument. Getting to see such a unique area with specifically evolved life was amazing. This truly was a trip I will never forget.”

– Colton Farra (Kansas), Southwest Biology Camp student (2017)

Three year camps student Jackson Stanton with a bat he disentangled from a net while assisting researchers in New Mexico during Southwest Biology Camp.

Three year camps student Jackson Stanton with a bat he disentangled from a net while assisting researchers in New Mexico during Southwest Biology Camp.

“Last year I attended Sternberg Biology Camp. It was the best week of my life. While at camp I had many firsts. I got to explore the White Sands National Monument. I learned how animals evolve to be more successful in their environment. I walked along ancient lava beds. I took part in a scientific study on bats. I learned how to make notes in the field for the study. I got to see many animals: rattle snakes, lizards, toads, scorpions, and many species of bats. Most importantly, I realized that someday I could have a job in the field of biology.”

– Jackson Stanton (Kansas) Field Naturalists Camp 2014, Southwest Biology Camp 2015-2016, Expedition Ecuador 2017

Three year camps student Trenton Howell with a toad found at night during Field Naturalist Camp.

Three year camps student Trenton Howell with a toad found at night during Field Naturalist Camp.

“Last year I went with the staff of the Field Naturalist Camp to New Mexico. It was one of the most fun and exciting trips of my life! We all had a great time traveling around the state and learning about all of the different kinds of wildlife there. One of the main parts of the trip was catching bats, which meant we had to stay up after dark and wait for them. We set nets and then assisted in collecting and recording data. Among all of the things I noticed while we were there, I still am astonished at how bright and clear the stars were. Aside from all of the wildlife and nature, we also learned other skills, such as cooking, cleaning, and teamwork. I really enjoyed spending some time with other people who share my passion for animals.”

– Trenton Howell (Kansas) Field Naturalist Camp (2014-2016)

Returning high school camps student Arabelle Konrad, seen here mixing plaster and water for a plaster jacket during Sternberg Paleontology Camp.

Returning high school camps student Arabelle Konrad, seen here mixing plaster and water for a plaster jacket during Sternberg Paleontology Camp.

 

“I go to a small school in rural West Michigan and I never meet anyone with similar interests to mine, so it was nice for me to hang out with kids who do share the same interests. The biology camp was a valuable experience for me because I have been trying to decide whether to get a major in biology or geology in college, so the biology camp was important because I was able to see an actual biologist working in the field. I also attended the paleontology camp, which was my favorite of the two camps. I’ve wanted to be a paleontologist for as long as I can remember, so I was very excited. Even though I attended the paleontology camp last summer, I learned even more this year. I am so happy and lucky to have been able to attend Sternberg’s summer camps. It is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Because of Sternberg, I know that I can fulfill my dream of becoming a paleontologist.”

Arabelle Konrad (Michigan) Sternberg Paleontology Camp (2015-2016), Southwest Biology Camp (2016)

Chris Noll and Sternberg Paleontology Camp teaching assistant Jessica Barnett examining an owl skull during the comparative anatomy lab portion of the program.

Chris Noll and Sternberg Paleontology Camp teaching assistant Jessica Barnett examining an owl skull during the comparative anatomy lab portion of the program.

“Everything was awesome ~ our daily schedule, field study site, lab exercises at FHSU, our Leader- David Levering, TA-Jessica Barnett, and lecturing professors Dr. Wilson and Dr. Thomasson! I was especially impressed with one aspect of the camp: As expected, the camp’s daily schedule exposed me to the dig and lab skills associated with being a paleontologist. What I didn’t expect, was that with each task there was discussion from David, Jess, and the professors on what it would take academically and professionally to become a paleontologist. Each evening while discussing the day’s experiences in the field, they tied those experiences to those we might encounter in college study or our research. I am better prepared for college in general having spent these two weeks at camp!”

Christopher Noll (California) Sternberg Paleontology Camp (2016)

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