Summer STEAM Camps at Saint Francis University

Kids' College

Kids' College Summer STEAM Camps

 

Kids’ College STEAM Summer Camps at Saint Francis University is a summer program designed for school children entering grades 1 through 9. These two-to-five-day camps introduce children to various STEAM topics, such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, computer science, medicine, physics, language, history, art and more. In each camp, children learn about the amazing world around them through hands-on lessons and activities. Each camp includes daily (weather permitting) outside activities: short hikes, games, and physical exercises.

Registration Closed (2024 to open soon!)

Please check back for future opportunities.

 

Registration/General Information

  • Space is limited. Registrations are accepted until three business days prior to the start date of the chosen camp, or when all available spaces are filled, whichever comes first
  • Carefully read the camp description for dates, deadlines and PROMO CODES.
  • Payment may be made by credit card (with processing fee) or check (see FAQs)
  • Camps do not provide lunches (please pack lunch for your child); however, snacks are provided
  • Questions? Refer to the FAQs below, contact Michael Sell at 814-472-2872, or email scienceoutreach@francis.edu

Promotional Codes (coming soon)

Enter one of the following codes to receive a discount on registration: Coming Soon!

*Please note that only one code can be used per camp.


Camp Offerings 2023 

(Camp Offerings 2024 coming soon)

Campers Entering Grades 1-3

  • Creepy Crawlies and the Scientific Method (3-Day Camp) 

    Creepy Crawlies and the Scientific Method (3-Day Camp) 

    From beetles to earthworms, students will use their creepy crawlies to learn the five steps of the scientific method: question, hypothesis, methods, result, and conclusion. 

    • Dates: Monday, June 12 - Wednesday, June 14 
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $120 
    • Registration Deadline: June 7 
    • Register Here
  • Astronomy Adventures (2-Day Camp)   

    Astronomy Adventures (2-Day Camp)    

    What makes up the universe?  What objects make up the solar system?  How do objects move in space?  What are some features of the night sky and how do we observe them? These questions and more will be explored in this camp. 

    • Dates: Thursday, June 15 - Friday, June 16 
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $80 
    • Registration Deadline: June 12 
    • Register Here
  • Flying Wild: Celebrating Birds (3-Day Camp)   

    Flying Wild: Celebrating Birds (3-Day Camp)   

    Birds are an indicator of environmental health; their populations track changes in habitat, water, disease, and climate. Flying Wild Camp provides a wonderful way to introduce students to the study of birds, their adaptations and habitat.   

    • Dates: Monday, June 19 - Wednesday, June 21 
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $120 
    • Registration Deadline: June 14 
    • Register Here
  • Engineering and the Design Process (2-Day Camp)    

    Engineering and the Design Process (2-Day Camp)    

    Learn about rockets, sailboats, parachutes and chemically crafted concoctions.  Hands on activities explore aerospace, chemical, civil, environmental, and forensic engineering. 

    • Dates: Thursday, July 6 - Friday, July 7 
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $80 
    • Registration Deadline: June 29 
    • Register Here
  • Grow Lab: An Exploration of Plants (3-Day Camp)   

    Grow Lab: An Exploration of Plants (3-Day Camp)    

    Grow Lab Camp provides activities for growing minds.  How do we decide if a tomato is ripe?  How does a burdock seed “ride” on a sock?  What animals depend on plants? Why are trees terrific?  Students are the scientists, explorers, and problem solvers using their senses and minds to understand the natural world.      

    • Dates: Monday, July 17 - Wednesday, July 19 
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $120 
    • Registration Deadline: July 12 
    • Register Here
  • Chemistry: It's Elementary (2-Day Camp)    

    Chemistry: It's Elementary (2-Day Camp)    

    Chemistry is the study of the make-up of all things and how they behave.  What is matter?  How are atoms and elements, molecules and compounds related?  What makes up solutions and mixtures?  Can I eat a super saturated solution?  How can I measure density?   Hands on activities can give us answers to these questions and more. 

    • Dates: Thursday, July 20 - Friday, July 21  
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $80 
    • Registration Deadline: July 17 
    • Register Here

Campers Entering Grades 4-6

  • Chemistry in Our World (3-Day Camp)    

    Chemistry in Our World (3-Day Camp)    

    • Dates: Monday, June 12 - Wednesday, June 14 
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $120 
    • Registration Deadline: June 7 
    • Register Here

    Ever wonder why ice floats, what makes bread rise, or how thermometers work? Perhaps you've wondered about the elements of the periodic table and how they were discovered. Together we will conduct experiments to answer these questions and many more as we discover how chemistry is an essential part of our lives. 

  • Art through the STEAM Lens (2-Day Camp)    

    Art through the STEAM Lens (2-Day Camp)    

    Have you ever wondered how science, technology, engineering, and math can all be related to art? Learn how in this creative two-day camp! We will study various artistic styles (including but not limited to pointillism, frescos, and architecture), then use our STEAM knowledge to create various artworks of our own! 

    • Dates: Thursday, June 15 - Friday, June 16 
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $80 
    • Registration Deadline: June 12 
    • Register Here
  • Civil War Tech (2-Day Camp)-offered 2 dates

    Civil War Tech (2-Day Camp)    

    The Civil War was one of the most pivotal time periods in our nation’s history.  It is a fascinating time period to study.  What many people do not realize is the rapid technological advances that began to appear at the time of the Civil War.  For these reasons, the Civil War is sometimes called “The First Modern War.’  This camp will explore some of those new technologies, including the use of electronic communication through the telegraph and new and improved secret codes.  We will also study how technology changed the way wars were fought by examining the impact of technology on tactics.  You will also learn the commands used by the soldiers to maneuver on the field of battle, as well as how these tactics had to adapt to changing technologies.  If you enjoy science and history and would like to see how these two fields interact, this camp is for you! 

  • Frankenstein Engineering: Giving life to ideas through prototyping (3-Day Camp)    

    Frankenstein Engineering: Giving life to ideas through prototyping (3-Day Camp)    

    • Dates: Monday, July 10 - Wednesday, July 12 
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $120 
    • Registration Deadline: July 5 
    • Register Here

    From idea to design to prototype, this camp explores the prototyping process by creating various prototypes and how each is tested and evaluated. This ranges from displays to physical models, animatronics, and 3D-printed parts. Students will walk away with a basic understanding of feasibility, fidelity, fused deposit modeling (FDM), computer aided design (CAD), concept sketch, why prototyping is essential to the design process, and several creations they make along the way.   

     

  • Don't Just Play the Game, Make it: Developing games for the playground, family game night, and the screen (3-Day Camp) 

    Don't Just Play the Game, Make it: Developing games for the playground, family game night, and the screen (3-Day Camp) 

    There is more to games than the fun experienced by playing them. This camp explores game design's mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics by creating original games such as cooperative outside games, interesting tabletop games, and developing a video game. We will explore the design and development stages for each type of game, with the core objective being fun. Children will walk away with a greater appreciation for the family board games and video games they play, the effort that goes into making them, and basic programming. They will also be given the resources to continue the development of the video game beyond camp if they wish to develop it further.      

    • Dates: Monday, July 17 - Wednesday, July 19 
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $120 
    • Registration Deadline: July 12 
    • Register Here

Campers Entering Grades 7-9

  • Marine and Freshwater Aquatic Exploration (3-Day Camp)    

    Marine and Freshwater Aquatic Exploration (3-Day Camp)    

    During this three-day camp students will take a survey of marine and freshwater animals such as sharks and other aquatic organisms.  They will also learn about the physics and chemistry of water by learning how things float and the importance of nutrients cycling through aquatic systems. Students will also have hands-on learning while exploring the differences between marine and freshwater ecosystems. 

    • Dates: Monday, June 12 - Wednesday, June 14 
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $120 
    • Registration Deadline: June 7 
    • Register Here
  • Artemis: Moon to Earth (3-Day Camp)

     Artemis: Moon to Earth (3-Day Camp)  

    Imagine an ancient surface covered in craters and frozen lava flows, highlands and lowlands, and a magnificent blue planet visible in the airless sky. Yes, you are on the Moon, you are a part of the Artemis mission, and your goal is to explore the lunar surface: investigate the formation of craters, analyze lunar rocks and dust, and find water and energy sources on the Moon.

    • Dates: Monday, June 19 - Wednesday, June 21 
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
    • Program Fee: $120 
    • Registration Deadline: June 14 
    • Register Here

     

Students Entering Grades 10-12

SFU Summer Pre-College Academies are one-week, residential, immersive programs designed to empower students with the tools and resources needed to excel in college while exploring future career pathways.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When does registration open and close?

    Registration usually opens in late winter or early spring. Register to receive email updates.

    Registration closes three business days before the scheduled camp, or when all available spaces are filled, whichever comes first.

  • What is the registration process?

    Registration is available through SFU’s online event website.

    To register:

    1. From this page click the camp you would like to register for (or find it at https://events.francis.edu/). Click the “Buy Tickets” button. Select the number of seats you would like to reserve. Enter a ‘promo’ code, if applicable. If paying by check, enter ‘paybycheck’ in the promo code field. Complete the required fields and click to submit payment. Once submitted, you should receive an email confirming your spot. Go to step 2.
    2. Complete the Medical and Emergency Contact Form. All required fields must be completed before registration is considered official. Incomplete forms will result in the participant being placed on a waiting list. If you do not complete the form in a timely manner, your spot may be forfeited.
    3. Optional: Complete the health forms for your child to be seen at UPMC, MyHealth Saint Francis on campus in the event of a minor injury or illness. For more information, see “What if my child needs medical attention during camp?”
    4. If applicable: Mail completed health forms and/or check to

    Kids’ College STEAM Summer Camps 
    SFU Science Outreach Center
    P.O. Box 600 
    Loretto, PA 15940

    *Please note:

    • There is no cart function. If you would like to register for more than one camp, you must do so for each camp separately. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
    • The Medical and Emergency Contact Form only needs to be completed once per camper, even if participating in multiple camps.
    • You may create a user account with the registration system, but this is not required. Email updates will come from scienceoutreach@francis.edu. We will send details approximately 2 weeks before camp and a reminder approximately 1 week before camp. You may receive additional automated notifications from the online event registration system.
  • What forms of payment are accepted?

    Credit Card: Please note, there is a processing fee for this credit card service. 

    Check: If you wish to pay by check you must enter the PROMO CODE: paybycheck at checkout.

    Please make checks payable to Saint Francis University. If you have a PROMO CODE, please deduct its value from the payment. Please mail a printout of your registration confirmation and check to: 

    Kids’ College STEAM Summer Camps 
    SFU Science Outreach Center 
    P.O. Box 600 
    Loretto, PA 15940

  • Are scholarships available?

    Thanks to the generous support of the A.J. and Sigismunda Palumbo Charitable Trust, several scholarships will be made available to need-based campers to cover the cost of registration in a Kids' College STEAM Summer Camp at Saint Francis University, in 2024. To be considered for a scholarship, please complete the scholarship application form. 

    Applications will be reviewed on a ruling basis beginning April 1st and will continue until all funds have been allocated. If awarded a scholarship, you will be contacted by email. We will try to inform awardees at least 3 weeks before the beginning of their selected camp. Unfortunately, not all applicants may be awarded a scholarship, depending on the number of requests received. Scholarships not claimed within 2 weeks of award may be forfeited and provided to another eligible recipient. Maximum of one scholarship per camper.

  • What happens if my child is placed on the wait list?

    Once all spaces are filled for a camp, additional parties may join the wait list. If a cancelation occurs and a space opens, the space will be offered to the first person on the wait list. If there is demand for a program, additional spaces may be opened, but only if adequate staffing is available to ensure a quality program.

  • Where are camps held?

    Camps are held on the campus of Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA, unless otherwise noted. The specific drop off and pick up locations will be communicated for each individual camp.

  • What should my child bring to camp?
    • Brown Bag Lunch
    • Water Bottle
    • Jacket or Sweater
    • Sunscreen (apply in morning, can bring, but staff do not apply)
    • Bug Spray

    Please pack a lunch for your child. We encourage you to pack a peanut and nut-free meal.* We have refrigeration, if needed. A vending machine is not readily accessible. Snacks will be provided (common examples: fruit, crackers, cereal). Juice is offered each afternoon. A water refill station is available. Classrooms may be air conditioned, so a jacket or sweater is recommended. All camp materials will be provided, unless otherwise specified in the description or by the instructor. PLEASE LABEL YOUR CHILD’S ITEMS with their first and last name, including clothing, lunch boxes and water bottles. We are not responsible for any loss or damage to personal items. Unclaimed lost and found items will be donated to a local charity at the conclusion of the camp season.

    *Please note that the campus is not a peanut or nut-free zone, and other allergens may also be present.

  • What is a typical camp schedule?

    The schedule will vary from camp to camp depending on the activities, camper’s ages, weather, and other factors. The day is structured to include both educational learning periods and less formal break periods (lunch, snack, recess, or other unstructured time where kids can be kids).

    An example full-day schedule is below. Additional breaks will be added when/where needed.

    9:00 am – Activity 
    10:30 am – Break/Recess 
    10:55 am – Snack 
    11:10 am – Activity 
    11:45 am – Lunch 
    12:30 pm – Activity 
    2:15 pm – Break/Recess 
    2:45 pm – Snack 
    2:55 pm – Activity 
    4:00 pm – Dismissal

  • What time is check-in and check-out?

    Check-in begins at 8:45 a.m. and runs until 9:00 a.m. Check-out is at 4:00 p.m. All children must be signed in and out by an approved adult.

  • What if my child has an allergy or needs to take medication?

    Details coming soon.

  • What if my child needs medical attention during camp?

    Details coming soon.

  • How are camp topics chosen?

    Topics are usually selected by the instructors because of their passion for the topic. In other cases, the topic has been identified by prospective campers as being of interest. Have an idea for a camp? Let us know.

  • What if I have other questions?

    Please contact the STEAM Summer Camps director, Michael Sell, at 814-472-2872 or email scienceoutreach@francis.edu.

Policies

  • Behavior Policy

    Campers are guests of Saint Francis University and are responsible for following all rules and regulations established by the camp program and Saint Francis University to ensure safety. Campers are expected to conduct themselves in a well-behaved manner at all times.

    Campers must:

    • Show respect to other children and staff. No insults, teasing, threats, or bullying.
    • Use appropriate language at all times.
    • Listen quietly while other children or staff are talking.
    • Respect individual space. Keep your hands, feet, and body to yourself.
    • Clean up after yourself, including lunch, snacks, and activity and play materials.
    • Stay with your group in designated areas at all times, unless otherwise given permission by camp staff.
    • Respect Saint Francis University property as well as the belongings of other children and university staff.

    This list of rules and regulations is not all-inclusive. All behaviors which are not in agreement with the expressed mission and purpose of the STEAM summer camps and Saint Francis University are subject to reprimand. Ongoing behavior problems will lead to dismissal from the camp.

    Campers should talk to a summer camp instructor or assistant if they feel uncomfortable with any experiences or need assistance while at camp. Camp instructors try their best to supervise campers but

    may not see every incident. Please communicate any concerns you have with camp staff immediately so that they can be addressed.

    Disciplinary Process

    When a child does not follow the expected behaviors, the following steps will be taken:

    Step 1) First Incident – Verbal warming – Staff members will first try to understand the situation and collect all possible information about the situation, including the child’s motives and intentions. Staff will discuss the issue with the child to explain what he or she did was wrong, why it was wrong, and encourage a more appropriate behavior.

    Step 2) Second Incident – Mild punishment (time-out) – camper will be removed from activity to consider actions. Parents will be notified of this at the end of the day.

    Step 3) Third Incident – Mild punishment (time-out) – camper will be removed from activity to consider actions. Parents will be notified of this at the end of the day.

    Step 4) Fourth Incident – Expulsion – camper will be removed from activity and their parents will be notified to come pick up their child. Camp fees are non-refundable if a camper is sent home for behavioral reasons. The opportunity to participate in future camps will be forfeited.

    *The discipline process can be accelerated by camp staff for serious offenses, including physical violence or bullying. Incidents do not need to be of the same type in order to progress through the steps (i.e. swearing could be a first incident, followed by hitting as a second incident).

    An Incident Report will be completed by the staff member involved in each incident and kept on file. Our staff aims to treat campers and their families with respect, and we expect children and their families to do the same in return.

  • Cancellation/Refund Policy

    Registration may be cancelled up to two weeks (14 calendar days) prior to the start day of the selected camp for a full refund. Cancellations closer than 14 calendar days to the start of camp may be granted in some circumstances for medical or emergency reasons only, unless the spot can be filled from the wait list. Please contact camp staff to discuss your situation.

    There is no credit or refund for missed days or partial days. If a camper misses a day, they are still eligible to participate in any remaining days of camp. Instructors will do their best to update participants on any missed activities.

    If you know that your child will be unable to attend a camp, please let us know as soon as possible, so that we can offer the opportunity to another child who may be on the wait list.

    We reserve the right to cancel a camp due to insufficient registrations. If a camp is canceled, you will receive notification no less than 10 business days before the start of the camp. A full refund will be issued.

    In the event of extenuating circumstances, the camp schedule may be adjusted or canceled. Any changes to the camp schedule will be communicated with parents/guardians in as timely a manner as possible.

  • Sickness Policy

    If a child is not feeling well, particularly if they have or are suspected of having a communicable disease, please keep them at home. This allows the child to rest and recuperate and protects other camp children and staff from being exposed to the illness. Children who are not feeling well will have difficulty participating in our activity-filled camps.

    Children should be symptom-free for 24 hours prior to attending camp. Example symptoms may include (but are not limited to):

    • Fever (temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
    • vomiting (caused by illness)
    • diarrhea
    • very running nose, sore throat, or frequent cough
    • strep throat
    • rash
    • persistent pain

    *A camper who has had or is suspected of having COVID-19 within the past five days is not allowed to attend, even if they are symptom-free.

    Any siblings who have been around the ill child should also not attend.

    A camper who becomes ill during the course of the camp day will be evaluated by camp staff. The parent/guardian may be called and asked to pick up their child immediately.

    Also see our What if my child needs medical attention during camp? question in the FAQs.

    Please call or email if your child is not coming.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK AND HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT


Please Read

 

I hereby acknowledge that I have voluntarily chosen to participate in the following activity(ies) on the premises and/or facilities of SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY. 

I understand the risks involved in “the activity”.  I recognize that “the activity” involves risk of injury and I agree to accept any and all risks associated with it, including but not limited to property damage or loss, minor bodily injury, severe bodily injury, and death. I am voluntarily participating in “the activity” with the knowledge of the risks involved and hereby agree to accept any and all inherent risks of property damage, bodily injury, or death.

 

In consideration for the University’s permission to participate in “the activity”, to the fullest extent permitted by law, I agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY, its officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers and assigns from and against all claims arising out of or resulting from my use of the facilities. “Claim” as used in this agreement means any financial loss, claim, suit, action, damage, or expense, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, attributable to bodily injury, sickness, disease or death, or injury to or destruction of tangible property including loss of use resulting therefrom.

 

In addition, I hereby voluntarily hold harmless SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY, its officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers and assigns from all claims, both present and future, that may be made by me, my family, estate, heirs, or assigns. I also understand that SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY does not provide any medical or dental insurance to cover bodily injury, illness or death, or insurance for personal property damage or loss, or insurance for liability arising out of my negligent acts or omissions; and I acknowledge that I am completely responsible for my own insurance to cover these expenses. I authorize SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY, its officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers and assigns to take whatever actions that are deemed appropriate regarding my health and safety in the event of an emergency or life-threatening event. This includes placing me at my own expense into a hospital or other health care facility if that is deemed medically necessary. SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY will not dispense over the counter (OTC) or prescription medication to any participant.

I further understand that this acknowledgment of risk and hold harmless is intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by the laws of the State of Pennsylvania and that if any portion hereof is held invalid, I agree that the balance shall, notwithstanding, continue in full legal force and effect. I understand and agree to follow all rules of conduct, safety rules, and time limits imposed by SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY its officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers, and assigns. I understand and agree that, if rules and time limits imposed by SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY are not followed, that SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY may revoke its permission to conduct “the activity”. Participants are expected to be courteous to one another and all staff members. Disruptive behavior or behavioral problems will not be tolerated and will be brought to the attention of the parent/guardian in which disruptive actions may forfeit activity privileges. I will drop my child off and pick my child up according to the instructions provided by the camp overseer.

 

I attest that I am physically fit to participate in physical activities and that my medical condition to do so has been verified by a licensed physician.

 

By agreeing to these terms, I/we authorize SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY personnel to photograph, videotape, and/or audiotape my/our child in promotion of SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY programs.

 

I understand that all such reproductions and statements are and shall remain the property of SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY. I have read the above conditions and accept them as shown by my signature, and my intent to be legally bound.

 

The undersigned asserts that participant is younger than (18) years of age and the guardians signature approves the activities for this minor.