July is coming to a close. The weather is hotter than ever, driving some people to the beach and others to the air-conditioned indoors for computers and video games. There's still another month before kids go back to school. Sunburn is one thing- don't let their brains fry, too!
Here are 3 ways to keep little minds engaged in science through the dog days of summer:
1. FOR KIDS: Summer Camp at Kids Science Labs - No, it's not too late to sign up for summer camp! Kids Science Labs offers their hands-on, science adventure camps in week-long chunks. The goals of KSL's camps are "to enhance your child's critical thinking skills, academic confidence, and cognitive ability." The student-teacher ratio is great- 8:1- and a new subject is introduced each week. Kids 4-12 can sign up for just the parts that interest them, or attend for weeks at a time. This upcoming week (starting July 30th) features Weather, Oceans, and Water. After that, it's How Stuff Works. See the full list here. (1500 N. Kingsbury St. $350/wk+. Camps run 9AM-noon OR 9AM-3PM.)
2 . FOR TEENS: Maker Camp - Got a Google+ account? Me neither. It might be time to get one, because MAKE Magazine is running one awesome online summer camp. Maker Camp is "a virtual DIY camp for teens" running through August 24th. Each day, a new project is introduced at 8AM- a fine motivation to get your teen out of bed! Last week's projects included pirate rigging, kryptonite candy, electric origami, and a "virtual field trip" to see octocopters in action. Building goes until noon. At that time, a Google+ hangout occurs, where campers and counselors discuss their experiences. Photos and videos are shared and celebrated. By 2PM, camp is over. Your teen can spend the rest of their summer day doing... whatever it is teens do.
3. FOR FAMILIES: MSI's Summer Brain Games - The folks at the Museum of Science and Industry are looking to prevent the scary-sounding phenomenon, "brain drain." Summer Brain Games is an 8-week, online program that introduces a DIY science project for families every 7 days. Previous activities have included terrariums, catapults, and soda bottle rockets. They're currently in Week 6, but you can catch up any time. Registering also qualifies families to win free MSI memberships, or even a sweet tech package.
I must need to engage my brain a bit more, myself. Just last night, I had a dream that I wasn't going to graduate college because I kept skipping classes and missing assignments.
...You don't want to know how long ago college actually was for me. That anxiety lasts a lifetime.
Enjoy the summer science!