Thursday, February 9, 2012

Summer Science Camp: How-To Guide Part III

During the past two days, you considered several factors in preparation for planning your science camp and making an official proposal. 

Once your proposal is in place and approved, there's more work to do.  You've decided on a length of time to meet for each day of camp, but now you need to structure that time to best suit you and your campers. 

As mentioned previously, we opted for a 2 hour camp.  We broke each camp session into 3 activities - two 30 minute activities, one 45 minute activity, and one 15 minute snack.  You could do two 45 minute activities and one 30 minute one.  You could do four 30 minute activities.  The possibilities are endless.  Consider the activities you want to present and the amount of time you anticipate each one taking.  You'll no doubt have to adjust the schedule as you go along, but it's good to have a plan to begin with. 

It's helpful to organize your activities so that the very messy ones are followed by less messy ones.  In fact, the best follow-up to a messy activity is to get the kids outside for a game.  Your co-leader or student volunteer can remain in the room to finish any clean-up or get ready for the next activity while the kids are out of the way.

You'll probably want to do your most preparation-intense activity first thing in the camp session, so you can do all your set up before student arrive, instead of trying to do it while students are working on other activities.

Also, make sure you think about the structure of the overall week.  I never planned activities that had to be completed outside for the last day of camp - if it rains on that final day, you won't have a chance to reschedule the activity.  For example - the rocket launch was usually scheduled for Thursday (with Friday available as a rain date).  That meant that rocket construction needed to be completed by Wednesday.

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