The Mission of the Sternberg Museum of Natural History is to foster "an appreciation and understanding of Earth's natural history and the evolutionary forces that impact it...with an emphasis on the Great Plains." Located in Western Kansas, we have a unique position serving rural regions of the Great Plains and surrounding urban populations with science education. While continuing with school tour groups, after school programming, adult programming, family days, and community events, we are now expanding our reach by bringing Kansas' natural history to K-12 students, and brining K-12 students to Kansas' natural history.
As announced in a previous post, the Sternberg Museum is offering summer camps for elementary, junior high, and high school students beginning in the summer of 2014 (that's THIS summer!!). These camps focus on introducing students to hands on field- and lab-based biology, ecology, and paleontology educational activities and adventures. Western Kansas is filled with exceptional, accessible natural resources that we are excited to introduce to and share with learners of all ages. These camps are one more way the Sternberg Museum can provide science education to K-12 students and families. And in a world that is moving indoors and moving less, we can offer our camp-goers outdoor adventures in the wilds of Kansas.
We are offering single day camps for grades K-5, three day camps for grades 6-8, and a 2 week camp for grades 9-12. You can find more information in the Camp Catalog posted on the Museum website. There are still openings for new campers, but register soon because spots are filling! Contact the Education Director David Levering (the mastermind, energy source, organizer, and facilitator behind the camps) with questions or for more information.
So what could be more awesome than biology and paleontology camps in Kansas? How about our efforts to keep registration costs down?! As with any new venture, there are a lot of start-up costs associated with getting the summer camp program off the ground. Using a crowdfunding website called RocketHub, we are raising money to purchase camping gear like tents, stoves, and pots and pans for use in the overnight camps. This keeps students from having to purchase/bring more than the personal essentials for camping. We are also raising money to purchase the more technical gear associated with biology, ecology, and paleontology field work (GPS units, compasses, excavation supplies, etc.). All in all, these fundraising efforts mean that we can keep the registration costs for each student down, making camps available to a wide range of students.
Amid our fundraising efforts, we have also had several generous donors donate money specifically for student scholarships. There are 10 scholarships available for elementary students, one for junior high students, and two for high school students. The application process for financial aid is included in the Camp Catalog.
In the past months, we have had a tremendous outpouring of support for our camps by way of private donations, donations through RocketHub, and student registrations. But we have a bit further to go to help our camps live up to their potential. Please consider signing a young family member up for a camp or supporting our fund raising efforts - we can't do it without you!
Check it out! Our upcoming camps were also recently featured in an awesome write-up in the Outbound Adventurer blog.