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Monday, August 24, 2015

Kids’ Science Camp Makes Learning Fun for a Second Summer

Second annual Aztec Science Camp offers hands-on learning for kids in the community

Students at the SDSU Science Camp
By Chelsea Baer

Originally published in SDSU Newscenter August 01, 2014

During Aztec Science Camp, kids are “doing science the way science should be done,” said Sarah Atallah, the Camp Director of the program. For the second year, kids ages 6 to 13 are getting hands-on experience at the camp, hosted on San Diego State University’s campus.

Donna Ross and Lisa Lamb, faculty of the School of Teacher Education, were at the helm of this two-week program that took place through separate one-week sessions in July. The goal of the camp is to give children early exposure to the numerous fun aspects of science and math that might not otherwise be taught in a classroom.

The science program has thrived in its second year, receiving sponsorship from Subaru of America Foundation, SDSU’s Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative, the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education, the President’s Leadership Fund, and the Center for Teaching Critical Thinking and Creativity.

In addition to the fun and engaging science experiences for children in the community, Aztec Science Camp also provides opportunities for recent graduates from SDSU's elementary teacher credential program to teach science.  The camp also encourages SDSU science and engineering undergraduates to consider science teaching as a possible career.

The Aztec Science Camp, which started July 13 and runs through July 24, is broken into two week-long sessions. Parents can send their children to one or two sessions. Each week new topics are taught.

During Imagineering, campers embrace their inner maker, getting their hands dirty, building things, and have lots of fun while doing it! They design and redesign their own kites, catapults, and arcade games. Engineering and creativity come together in this experience for the 10-13 year old campers.

Aztec Crime Lab
In Aztec Crime Lab, campers become Crime Scene Investigators, using their newly-learned skills to uncover evidence of the great Aztec crime caper. Campers search for and analyze fingerprints, extract DNA, and conduct ink chromatography as they work to identify the culprit.

Nature Detectives
Campers ages 6-9 explore science all around SDSU’s campus.  They investigate animal evidence such as bones, scat and tracks! They go on nature scavenger hunts, do leaf and print rubs, investigate skulls large and small, and ponder and investigate their questions about worms.

Mission Impossible
This Aztec Special Agent team deciphers invisible messages and secret codes, builds spy gadgets, and designs disguises and get away vehicles, all in the name of identifying villains and keeping the home of the Aztecs safe!

Teachers learning from students
One goal of the camp is to make science exciting for students from a young age. The young scientists venture from the College of Education to tour SDSU’s physics and chemistry labs. The theme of fun continues as the campers learn the physics of bowling at Aztec Lanes. Camp is beneficial, not only for the campers, but also for the recently credentialed teachers and science interns who create great learning opportunities for the campers.

For complete details, visit the camp website at: