Spectrum of Science Offers Special Camps in December and May

How about this for a unique holiday treat - a hands-on science program customized to match the interests of your children? Spectrum of Science, the nonprofit that has been offering supplemental science camps at selected Tri-Valley schools for the past several years, has come up with this special offering to keep youngsters productive and entertained during the upcoming December holiday break.

Just because the school facility is closed for vacation does not mean the learning has to stop, emphasizes AmyBeth Ogden, Spectrum of Science co-founder and marketing director. In fact, it can get even more concentrated in a specialty concierge camp.

"Families can choose the topic, date, time, and location, and we will bring the program to them," says Ogden. While the typical session - anywhere from two to eight hours long-is designed for small groups, there is no limit on how many children can attend, she continues, commenting, "I can always staff up." Nor are there restrictions on the site. "We've used country clubs, conference rooms in office buildings, even people's garages. We work with families to customize a program that meets their needs."

So what kind of program might parents ask for?

"Kids are really into physics, and they like to build things," Ogden reports. A perfect way to tap into that interest is putting together remote-controlled race cars like those marketed by the Disneyland store Ridemakerz. "It's like a Build-a-Bear for race cars," she remarks. Parents can buy a car kit as a holiday gift and book an assembly party, or Ogden can supply all the gear necessary to customize the cars during an instructional session at a location of their choice.

"We show the kids how to build the car and teach the science behind it. They learn about wheels and axles, infrared controls, parallel vs. serial electrical circuits, things like 'if this wire isn't connected, then that light won't work.' It's very popular, and we have already booked several camps for the week after Christmas." Another part of the appeal is that "parents don't have to remain on site. We are 100 percent responsible."

The Ridemakerz theme is not the only specialized camp the Danville-based nonprofit has on tap. The first weekend in May, the organization is partnering with Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo to present Sleep With Sharks In The Dark. The family event entails an overnight with both parents and kids and a Sunrise Safari and scavenger hunt the following day. The safari allows campers to get an inside look at the animals first thing in the morning, before park visitors arrive.

With the start of the new year, Spectrum of Science will also continue its dynamic programs at local school sites, introducing a new focus roughly every four weeks. The winter/spring after-school labs include these ever-popular units: Marine Science Mania; Dynamic Dragons And Dinosaurs; Geology: More Than Mud & Stones; Space: The Unreachable Frontier; and Singular Science-Technology Of The Future!

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

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