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Kids' College (Summer Camps)

Kids’ College at Saint Francis University is a summer camps program designed for school children in grades 1 through 10. These two to five day camps introduce children to various STEAM topics, such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine, physics, language, arts and more. In each camp, children become scientists who critically observe the surrounding environment, pose scientific questions, conduct experiments, collect and analyze data, and draw their own conclusions. Each camp includes daily (weather permitting) outside activities: field trips, short hikes, games, and physical exercises. 

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  • 2020 Kids' College at SFU

    ***We are sorry to inform you that all Kids's College summer camp programs offered by the Science Outreach Center at Saint Francis University have been canceled for 2020. Please stay safe and we hope to see you in 2021.***

    Questions?
    phone: 814-472-3878
    email: scienceoutreach@francis.edu

  • Grades1-3

    From Dinosaurs to Spaceships

    How did dinosaur bones help find the age of Earth? How did ancient Egyptians build the pyramids? How does a medieval catapult work? What science is behind a rocket launch? We look at key moments in history where science has advanced technology and our understanding of the planet. This program, designed specifically for young children, explores many science facts through fun, hands-on activities. 

      Build it Better: Sun City

      In this camp, children will learn about the sun and its influence on Earth. How does the sun make plants grow? How do humans harness its energy? In small groups children will build their own model city using the sunlight to benefit their gardens, streets, parks, and their homes. Children in this camp will visit our inflatable Palumbo Planetarium and watch the film Solar Quest.

        Science and Engineering for Kids

        This camp sets out to show young ones the science that surrounds their daily life, leading girls and boys through a variety of lessons. During the camp kids begin to understand what it means to be an engineer, an astronaut, a biologist and more. Over the course of the camp, participants will engage in projects, games and lessons that cover the science behind the phases of water, water quality, gravity, geology, solar energy, bridges, how soap works, plant life, bugs, cooking and many more aspects of science and engineering that they encounter every day! This camp includes a visit to the inflatable Palumbo Planetarium.

          Eco Camp

          In this camp explore the wonders of the world “WOW”.  Why do snails leave a slime trail?  How does a mealworm move?  How does a fish breathe?  How old is that tree?  How much does a plant sweat?  How does that banana decompose?  What does that animal need to survive?  Where does your water go?  Do plants take a drink?  What floats, what sinks?  This program is designed for young children with science facts, fun and hands-on activities.

            Build it Better: Wind City

            In this camp prepare to be blown away.  Did Leonardo Da Vinci really design the helicopter?  How did the Wright brothers fly?  How do birds soar? Electrical energy from wind?  We look at moments where science has used technology to harness and capture the amazing power of the wind.  This program is designed for young children to explore science through hands on activities. This camp includes a visit to the inflatable Palumbo Planetarium!

              Adventure in Chemistry

              During this three-day camp, students in grades 1-3 will get the opportunity to explore the sciences through various small scale instructor supervised experiments. These experiments include making slime, discovering the harmful effects of oil spills, making gummy worms dance, making our very own ice cream from liquid nitrogen, and many more exciting activities!

               

              Build it Better: Water City

              Did you know that water covers over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface? In this camp, girls and boys will learn about the importance of water to us and our earth. Kids will complete projects that explore the ways engineers keep our water safe to drink and keep rivers from overflowing. This camp includes a visit to the inflatable Palumbo Planetarium!!

              Grades 3-6

              Adventures with Science & Mathematics

              In this three-day camp, children will become a botanist, geneticist, physicist, astronomer, and astrobiologist for a day! And how do all of these scientists collaborate with each other? Using the language of mathematics, of course. Thus, we will deepen our understanding of science concepts with a few mathematical applications. In this camp, children will go on a field trip on SFU's grounds and use microscopes, a sunspotter, and a solar telescope among other scientific equipment.

                City of the Future: Solar City

                What does your dream city of the future look like? Children in this camp will become dreamers and architects of their own city lit up by the power of the sun. Campers will work in teams to construct model houses, bridges, parks, and more. Before they begin their construction, children will explore modern futuristic cutting-edge technology cities all over the world. In addition, they will visit our inflatable Palumbo Planetarium and watch a fulldome movie about the energy of the sun and life on Earth.  

                  Medical Camp

                  How does the brain work? How does blood flow? How many bones are in the human body? In this camp, children will learn all about the body and how doctors and nurses use science to keep us healthy. 

                    Chinese Language and Culture

                    This three-day summer camp is designed for children who are interested in learning basic Mandarin, making Chinese arts and crafts, experiencing Chinese culture and traditions, and making friends. No previous experience with Chinese language is necessary. Through this camp, students will practice speaking and writing in Chinese, learn calligraphy, do paper-cut art, design Chinese knot, etc. This camp will increase their multicultural experience by engaging in interactive, fun, and educational activities.

                      City of the Future

                      How will we live in the future? What does the future city look like? The solution is in our Children’s hands. In this two-day camp, students will design their own future city by learning how to supply energy, how to provide transportation, how to construct buildings, etc. This camp will help students build engineering ideas and think about their role in shaping a sustainable future. Also included is a visit to the inflatable Palumbo Planetarium!

                        Young Biologist

                        Students participating in this camp will learn about living vs. non-living things, covering everything from cells to how plants and animals interact in the ecosystem around us. Kids will learn the basics of biology, complete projects that encourage them to explore the living world, and discuss ways they can protect it through recycling and composting. They will learn to use microscopes to view aquatic samples collected on campus. In addition, participants will visit our inflatable Palumbo Planetarium and watch the fulldome movie Habitat Earth.

                          City of the Future: Hydro City

                          Curious designers will learn about the properties of water, how much (or little) fresh water is available, the effects of pollution, and how the flow of water can be used to make electricity. Students will build their own Rube Goldberg machine from recycled materials while also learning about the different properties of water. Participants will conclude the camp by constructing their own cities, where water is a main feature. In addition, they will visit our inflatable Palumbo Planetarium and watch the fulldome movie Habitat Earth.

                            Grades 6-10

                            LEGO Robotics Challenge: Exploring Mars through Robotics and 3D-Printing

                            Learn robotics and 3D printing in this interactive camp where the participants work together to explore challenges faced by NASA on its quest for Mars. Children will use Mindstorms and Python to code a Lego® EV3 robot while competing on a First Lego®-like board. During the last two days of the camp, children will design and 3D print tools essential for successful completion of the challenges. Campers will also explore how coding, robots, and 3D printing help NASA with space exploration. Participants will also have to opportunity to visit our inflatable Palumbo Planetarium and watch a fulldome movie the search for life in the universe.  

                            Earth & Space Camp

                            How far is it to the nearest star? Can anything escape black holes? What causes earthquakes? How do hurricanes form?  This camp is designed for all students who are curious about the earth and sky around them. In this camp, students learn about constellations, stars and planets as well as Earth and its systems. Participants will conduct safe solar observations, create earthquakes, simulate volcanoes and create and measure craters using potato “meteorites,” among other hands-on activities. This camp is designed to introduce students to a wide range of concepts and laws in astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and Earth sciences.

                            Sustainable Space Colony

                            In this camp, students will study the main features needed to support life beyond Earth. What do astronauts need to survive in space? Would it be possible to maintain a sustainable colony of humans on the Moon, Mars, or a moon of Jupiter? This camp will conclude with students designing their own ‘space colony’ on the Moon or Mars. In addition, they will visit our inflatable Palumbo Planetarium and watch a fulldome movie about life in space.

                            Explore Your World

                            In this camp, students learn about the natural world surrounding Loretto and beyond. Where does our energy come from? How do we grow our food? Where does our water go? Participants will leave this camp with a better understanding of the interconnections of the world.

                            Sustainable City of the Future

                            What does your dream city of the future look like? Students in this camp will become dreamers and architects of their own city powered by the sun, wind, water, wood and energy of the Earth. Campers will work in teams to construct model houses, bridges, parks, and more. Before they begin their construction, they will explore modern futuristic cutting-edge technology cities all over the world. This camp includes a visit to the inflatable Palumbo Planetarium!

                            Grades 11-12 (Grade as of Fall 2020)

                            STEAM Summer Academies

                            The SFU STEAM Summer Academies are one-week long immersive programs in engineering, aviation, computer science, mathematics, pre-medicine, health sciences, biology, chemistry and communications for high school students entering grades 11 and 12 in Fall 2020 (current sophomores and juniors). Students will be introduced to college life and earn two college credits upon completion.

                            See the STEAM Summer Academies