PacSci Perspectives

 

Camps for Curious Minds: A Summer Experience Worth Repeating

by | Feb 2, 2018

Happy Camper

Every summer, Pacific Science Center’s Camps for Curious Minds staff are excited when they see the familiar faces of campers who have joined in our camp program for years.

So what makes Camps for Curious Minds something kids want to return to every summer?

We asked a few of last summer’s campers who attended multiple camps at a number of our locations throughout the greater Seattle area over the years and we heard the same fantastic story: Parents love the consistently high quality of our camps and the teachers that run them, and the convenience of our eight locations throughout the greater Seattle area. Here is some feedback we’ve received:

“My daughter really enjoyed the camps and seemed to get a lot out of it. She was so excited to tell us about her day (which usually never happens). We really appreciated the great communication from camp teachers about what the campers learned as well as the follow-up questions to ask our camper about what they learned. We went through the emails together as a family and it was great!”

“My kids LOVE the Pacific Science Center camps. I can’t keep them quiet in the car ride home! They rave about the people and how much they learn.”

“The quality of the camp teachers is unmatched. The camp is generally well-run, and staff have always been willing to work with me to reasonably accommodate my son’s needs. This was my daughter’s first year, and she had a blast. Staff responded well to her needs as well.”

Along with our innovative themes, the quality of our camps has always been a highlight for parents, especially our teachers. Our enthusiastic, experienced and highly-trained camp teachers engage kids with hands-on activities and experiments to get them excited about the world around them because they are just as curious! We asked Jared, a current camp teacher, what inspired him to work at Pacific Science Center.

“I remember being at home watching Bill Nye, the Science Guy on TV and being so inspired. I knew right then I wanted to be a scientist.”

As he grew up, Jared developed a passion for teaching, informal education in particular. After college, he moved to Seattle to teach for the Camps for Curious Minds program at Pacific Science Center.

Jared explains, “We have such a broad range of camps that if you have an interest, we probably have two camps on that science topic X at least! It gives campers the option to choose what they want to learn.” Each weeklong camp is designed to spark each child’s curiosity and motivate every camper to say, “I want to learn more.”

Just ask Jenni Heuberger, whose eight-year-old son, Ian, attended Robotic Rangers, Cooking Up Science and Spy Science last summer while her five-year-old son, Charlie, roamed the wetlands of Mercer Slough Environmental Center in Bellevue in the Mud, Muck and Goo preschool camp. Jenni said, “With Pacific Science Center offering multiple weeks and locations to experience different camps, we could fit all the camps Ian wanted to do into his busy summer schedule.”

This summer, Pacific Science Center is excited to unveil over 25 new camp themes for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, making our total camp themes surpass 90! We are proud to offer summer camps at eight locations in the greater Seattle area, including Seattle, Bellevue, Medina, Kirkland, Redmond, Bothell, Mountlake Terrace and West Seattle.

From the science of weather to computer programming, to animal dissection, we have a variety of brand new themes for campers to explore.

Technology is the focus of our newest camp themes, especially for middle school campers. Campers now have a variety of new opportunities to explore animation, computer programming, augmented and virtual reality, and so much more.

Jenni said, “My favorite part of these camps is that they teach so much information in a way that kids don’t realize what sponges they are and how much they’ve learned until after the fact, when they are spouting facts and figures, putting things together, or in Ian’s case, cooking us Saturday breakfast or building a solar-powered mini-car.”

With new camp themes ranging from 3D Game Design to Dissection Lab and Exhibit Design, along with sensory-friendly camps, returning campers like Ian now have exciting new experiences to look forward to this summer.

Whether a camper wants to explore coding or crazy contraptions, Pacific Science Center summer camps offer unique and innovative learning experiences that will ignite their curiosity and fuel a passion for discovery, experimentation and critical thinking.

So; why do families return to Pacific Science Center camps summer after summer?

Jenni said it best: “We choose Camps for Curious Minds because they are stimulating to our kids’ intellect and they are fun, exciting, safe, and always have a great ‘take home’ message.”

And for Jared: “Being able to impact kids in such a profound way by igniting their curiosity – that’s why I love working at the Science Center. Seeing the same expression from campers that I have when I think about science, I know that we’re making a difference. This could change the course of their lives. If I hadn’t seen Bill Nye, I might not be teaching here today. Who knows what these campers will go on to do!”

Camps for Curious Minds registration opens to the general public on February 8. Pacific Science Center Members get early, exclusive registration access on February 1. To become a Member and get priority summer camp registration access, click here. For more information on our Camps for Curious Minds and to download our Summer Camp Guide, click here.

 

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