Camps heighten kids’ knowledge of science, math

Think your kids are the next Albert Einstein or Madame Curie? Want to test their scientific prowess and expand their knowledge of all things math and science?

Look no further than the John McConnell Math and Science Center of Western Colorado’s summer camps.

If you have a little scientist, check out the Science Book Nook, which runs every Tuesday and Thursday. Kids will read a book and then do experiments related to their readings. This camp is available in two age groups: kindergarten and first grade, and second and third grades. Cost is $10 for members of the science center, or $12 for non-members.

Imagineers, which is designed for first and second graders, introduces kids to the power of engineering and challenges them to solve everyday problems. This half-day camp is $8 for members and $10 for non-members, and runs during the month of June.

Calling all sports fans with a scientific mind: Check out the Science in Sports camp to learn the physiology behind athletes’ moves. This camp for seventh through ninth graders is not to be confused with a sports skills-learning camp. The camp begins Aug. 1st and costs $80 for members and $100 for non-members.

Is your little scientist also the outdoorsy type? Check out the various camps related to our wonderful world. Exploring Earth’s Treasures is a four-part series focusing on rocks, gems and minerals in the Grand Valley, and concludes with a hike to the Mica Mine.

If bugs and playing in the dirt are more your style, try Creepy Crawly. Who knows? You may be the next entomologist. If you prefer animals that fly but don’t belong to the insect family, check out Science Sleuth, where you’ll partner with members of the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens and the Audubon Society as you learn about birds and natural resources. Or, use your engineering ingenuity to escape once you get lost in the Amazon Rainforest, in the Lost in the Amazon camp. Check out the event calendar at for information about the camps, prices, dates and age limits.

The world’s population is aiming to get “greener” and more eco-friendly, and you can help. Check out River Rescue or Pollution Pirates to learn about pollution in the Colorado River, and what you can do to help save the environment.

The world needs more engineers, and what better way to test the waters than a straight-forward engineering camp? Your child can learn about hover cars and water turbines, and everything in between. Wild for Engineering and Engineering 101 is aimed for first-time engineers, while Engineering World and Engineering Connections cater to the more advanced engineers.

Explosions, liquid nitrogen and homemade bubble gum, oh my! Crazy for Chemistry is just right for those who want to explore the world of elements and compounds. This camp runs all day on Aug. 11th and 12th and is for third and fourth graders. Cost is $24 for members and $30 for non-members. No mad scientist hairstyle required.

Forget CSI Miami. Try CSI Grand Junction. Think you have what it takes to evaluate a crime scene, dust for fingerprints or examine shoe prints? This camp, which begins July 25, is for you. Campers will hear from members of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to help solve “crimes.” The camp is open for sixth through eighth graders and costs $60 for members or $75 for non-members.

Entire families can get in on the scientific action this summer as part of Family Science Night the first Thursday of the month. Cost is $5 for families and no registration is required.

Each of the camps has been designed by math, science and engineering college students working at the center, and these “fellows” will lead the camps. Scholarships are available for those who can’t afford the full cost. Check out the events calendar at for more information and to register.


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