Published April 16, 2013
Volume 21, Number 4

Spectrum of Science Sets “Spectacular” Agenda for Summer Camps    

Spectrum of Science Foundation (SOSF) has been around long enough that some of its alumni are now cycling back through as interns or instructors. Inspired no doubt by their early exposure to the fascinating principles of the universe, several of the young teachers have their eye on a future career in science.

Now in its 11th year, this nonprofit has made its mark in the Tri-Valley by offering action-packed supplemental science sessions to youngsters from Kindergarten to 5th grade, whether in after-school labs, class visits and workshops, or summer camps.

Classes with intriguing titles like “Chemistry: Magical, Mythical, or Science?” and “Space Explorer: Zipping Through Space” lead small groups of youngsters through hands-on exploration of natural phenomena. Tantalizing questions like “What happens when ‘that’ mixes with ‘this?’ and encouragement to “discover, test, and explode” capture the attention and imagination of the campers. Students get to check out galactic neighborhoods, model a tidal basin, or explore solar cooking under the summer sun, experiencing the joys of learning and discovery in the process.

According to SOSF co-founder and marketing director AmyBeth Ogden, one of the features that makes the classes so popular is the specificity of topics covered. Rather than intermingling units on biology, chemistry, and physics together in one course, each session is devoted to a particular field of science with a real-world illustration. The concepts are connected to practical applications through creative activities that allow every child to do his own experiment or make her own project to take home.

The insistence on using recycled and repurposed products for the build-your-own projects—as opposed to purchasing off-the-shelf commercial kits—is another hallmark. This approach also sparks curiosity and feeds ingenuity. Students can find a wide variety of race car components among common household objects—the lid from a jar of peanut butter, water bottle tops, even CDs, Ogden suggests. “This helps them understand science is everywhere. We use extraordinary ways to investigate the ordinary and incorporate math, history, and art while preparing the children for a world that is the future,” Ogden remarks. 

This year, SOSF’s “spectacular summer camps” will run from June 17 to August 22 in three locations: Camp Parks, the Army base in Dublin; Sycamore Club House in Danville, within walking distance of downtown; and Independent Elementary School in Castro Valley.

For more information and camp registration, visit www.spectrumofscience.com or call (925) 820-2415.

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