NU State Museum revamps summer day camp program

· 2 min read

NU State Museum revamps summer day camp program

Discount available to faculty, staff
Youth watch a water experiment as part of the University of Nebraska State Museum's Discovery Day Camps.
NU State Museum

The University of Nebraska State Museum has revamped its day camp program to include a wider audience of learners.

The Discovery Day Camps provide two-day, half-day and full-day options through the summer for students in grades K-8. The camps are hands-on, minds-on experiences in which participants explore a variety of natural history and science topics through engaging activities, outdoor play and exploration. Each camp is led by a museum educator, with potential opportunities to engage with museum researchers and guest speakers.

“We chose the name ‘Discovery’ because our main goal is to leave campers with awe-inspiring moments through hands-on experiences that invoke curiosity and a desire to learn more even after a camp is finished,” said Ann Spilker, UNSM extended learning coordinator. “We’re offering a variety of camp lengths and topics because we know the summer season can get busy and hectic and we wanted parents and guardians to have a variety of options.”

The Discovery Day Camp program offers a unique collaboration between the museum’s education team, collection staff and researchers. Campers get a behind-the-scenes look at specimens from the University of Nebraska State Museum research collections and meet scientists from a variety of disciplines. Participants will also visit places across the university, including the student observatory, Hebets lab to study arachnids, and Richards Hall to learn about ceramics.

A key component to the camps is a one to 10 instructor to camper ratio.

“Too often children can feel lost in the shuffle in massive groups during programs,” Spilker said. “Here we want campers to have positive experiences where they can get guidance, build meaningful relationships, and have fun while learning with different games and activities.”

Some weekly themes include Art in Science; What’s Bugging You; Astronomical Adventures; Anthropology First Peoples of the Plains; Science Sleuths; Curious Curators; Elephants, Dinos, and Rhinos; and Water We Doing.

Registration is available online for all Summer discovery Day Camp offerings.

University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty and staff can receive a $20 per camp discount if registering by May 31. University employees can book non-member camps by using their UNL email address and apply the code “TuskerPower” at checkout. Registration and program details are available online.

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