Biology, chemistry and earth sciences explored during Summer Science Camp

Biology, chemistry and earth sciences explored during Summer Science Camp

Image Credit: File

New Philadelphia City Schools Summer Science Camp will return this month after being dormant for the past two years. The camp will run July 18-22 and is open to any area student.

“This is the 34th year for the camp,” NPHS science instructor Scott Houmard said.

The program began in both Newcomerstown and New Philadelphia but eventually came to NPHS exclusively. Houmard has been a part of the Science Camp for the past 20 years.

Jody Brady, also a NPHS science instructor, said the theme for this year is “Sensational Seasonal Science.”

“The camp is broken into two age groups,” Brady said. “One group is for second through fourth grade and the other for students in fifth through eighth grade. We also have 10 high school helpers who volunteer to help with the camp all week.”

The cost for the Summer Science Camp is $70 per student and $55 for a second camper from the same immediate family. While 60 students are enrolled for this year, “There is room for a few more,” Brady said. “We try to prepare as well as we can but plan for some last-minute participants. We also get quite a few students from outside the area.”

“We try to vary the activities for the students every year,” said Houmard, who concentrates on physical sciences and chemistry while Brady and her fellow NPHS science teacher and husband, Kip, are more focused on biology.

“We spend one day of the camp at the Norma Johnson Center,” Brady said. “There, students learn to identify plants, butterflies and other insects. They also get to dip water from the pond and look for organisms. In past years they’ve created jet cars, a water-balloon launch and they’ve made slime. It’s never the same camp twice. The idea is to get them to be curious and engage in a scientific thought process.

“On the last day of the camp week, we do a project of some kind they can take home. And this year we are doing a water-pressure rocket launch.”

The camp includes puzzles and labs and is designed to be a hands-on experience for students. Biology, chemistry and earth sciences are all explored during camp week.

Each of the camp days is 2 1/2 hours. Second through fourth grade student camp is 8:30-11 a.m. while fifth through eighth grade is noon to 2:30 p.m.

“The camp experience is much the same for both groups, but we do alter the activities a bit for each,” Houmard said.

Links to sign up for the camp are available at the main page at www.npschools.org. Scroll down slightly to find fliers, full information and a sign-up form.

“Since science camp has been offered for more than 30 years,” Brady said, “we see a lot of second- and third-generation students signing up. Parents talk about how much they loved going to Summer Science Camp and are excited for their own children to have that same experience.”

“It’s a good experience for the kids,” Houmard said. “They get to do a lot of interesting activities and learn something about science and the environment.”

Summer Science Camp will meet at New Philadelphia High School, 343 Ray Ave. NW, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday’s camp will meet at Norma Johnson Center, 3870 state Route 39, Dover. Students should be dropped off at the pole barn that day and picked up at the picnic shelter.