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Hands On! camp both fun and educational

Nick Shepherd • Jul 11, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Summer camp season is in full swing, and Hands On! Museum wants to stand out from the crowd. The museum wants to offer education as well as fun in their upcoming kids kaleidoscope summer camp taking place July 16-20.

The camp will be for children between the ages of 5 and 10. The kids can explore and discover the worlds of arts, sciences and humanities. There will be activities, crafts and experiments taking place throughout the week.

“It’s a full week of basically experiments, science experiments and arts and crafts,” said education manager Heather Watson. “But the activities will be mostly based on science experiments.”

There will be a different theme each day of the week during the camp. There will be mad scientist Monday, tie dye Tuesday, wacky water Wednesday, treasure hunt Thursday and fossil finder Friday.

On Monday, kids will experiment with Mentos geysers, strawberry DNA extractions, solving messages written in secret codes and chromatography experiments.

Tuesday will be all about color mixing chemistry. They will use the scientific method to test a hypothesis and collect data. Wednesday kids will do silly straw experiments, tornado tubes and Cartesian diver bottles.

Thursday will be pirate time as kids will test out Bernoulli’s principle by creating a mini pirate ship, search for hidden treasure from a map made of invisible ink and create their own treasure chest.

Friday, kids will turn into paleontologists as they dig for clues and fossils, mold an erupting volcano, create fossil art and more.

One unique experiment the kids will be doing is building a lava lamp. In order to make a lava lamp, the children will be taking a mini water bottle and will fill it halfway with water and halfway with oil. They will then add Alka Seltzer and food coloring and they will have created a lava lamp. By doing the experiment, kids learn about density.

Hands On! has been operating the kaleidoscope camp for around 15 years, Watson said. They also offer workshops for older kids because summer camps haven’t been successful with that age group in past years.

The main goal is education.

“It’s to enrich their summers with more educational opportunities,” Watson said. “A lot of summer camps are just about playing, but this is more about an overall experience with learning while you’re playing.”

The summer camp has 20 kids signed up already. The staff will try to accommodate any children that would like to sign up for the camp.

The summer camp operates on half days and full days. Half days run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while full days run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The costs for half a day are $100 for members or $150 for nonmembers. The costs for a full day are $150 for members or $200 for nonmembers.

The kids will get to take home some of the experiments they work on. They will also get a healthy snack during camp. Parents will have to pack a lunch with a drink if they are staying for the full day.

The staff may be more excited than the kids.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Watson said. “We enjoy having them here.”

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