Collaborating with Sternberg Science Camps

Are you interested in working with us on creating incredible earth and life science programs for middle and high school students? Please see the information below. We are currently working with individuals and institutions to create new offerings targeting their community, region, and beyond. We typically only run programs for middle schoolers (6th-8th grade) and high schoolers (9th-12th grade). Our summer schedule runs from the third week of June to the first week of August. We are willing to discuss winter break programs, with adequate time to plan and advertise. Any new camp typically takes at least one to two years to build, market, and run, so start talking to use early if you are interested!

If you have any questions, please contact our Camps Director David Levering at DALevering@FHSU.edu.

 Individual Instructors

  • Our instructors are experienced science educators and researchers  enthusiastic about making an impact on the education and development of students.
  • A few notes on qualifications:
    • All field program instructors must have robust first-hand experience working directly with novice students in educational settings. 
    • Instructors must be committed to:
      • Accurate academic content delivery
      • Patient skills training 
      • Positive, growth-mindset approach to working with youth
      • Awareness and engagement with students on topics of inclusivity in STEM
      • Building up students through positive reinforcement
      •  Student safety and well-being as the number one priority
      • Willingness to patiently, evenly work with students from numerous social and economic backgrounds
      • Enforce and personally demonstrate policies of respectful, inclusive dialogue
      • Maintaining friendly but professional rapport with students and staff
      • Minimizing conversation (and ensuing conflict) about hot-button topics such as politics and religion outside of the specific boundaries as they pertain to earth and life science  
    • Middle school camp instructors must have at least a completed Masters of Science in a field relevant to the camp they are interested in instructing.
    • High school camp instructors must be a current doctoral student or have a PhD in a field relevant to the camp they are interested in instructing. Exceptions can be made in some cases for individuals with an MS and extensive relevant experience.
      • Here is why the above is our policy: We know plenty of excellent scientists and educators do not pursue or acquire PhDs, and still do excellent work in research and education. For our purposes, these qualification stipulations are about breadth of experience the instructor can ideally relate to students. It is also a marketing necessity, with parents being enthusiastic to sign their student up for a program to work with a person with easy to understand experience indicators and qualifications. These are not unbreakable rules, but guidelines we follow to optimize the chances for any given program to successfully enroll enough students to run.

 Institutional Collaboration

  • We are looking to work with museums, academic departments, and science centers to create regional sites for new camps, or offer existing programs at new locations to aid access for interested students. There are a couple ways for us to do this presently:
    • New outdoor program, using area earth and/or life science resources to create a custom field program.
      • Example: Volcanology Camp (2019 with U Oregon MNCH) in OR and WA. 
    • New indoor program, using on-site resources to create a camp centered on teaching students a select set of usable skills. 
      • Example: Research Methods 1 (2019) in Hays, KS.
    • Adoption or adaptation of a current camp program to be offered at your location, or at a field site you have access permission for.
    • There are a lot of options not alluded to here. The most important thing is making sure that the program imparts usable skills to the participating students. We don’t do academic programs centered on classroom work and mass-information delivery. We do not give written tests or quizes. 
    • It typically takes two years to get a collaborative camp off the ground. The first year is a lot of foundational planning. The second year is finalizing details, marketing, and recruitment. 
    • We have specific philosophical guidelines in how we approach program construction and delivery that prioritizes overall student development over raw scholastic rigor. These guidelines are what set us apart from most other STEM academic camps, and make us favorable to students from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds. While we are 
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