MARQUETTE - Though the school year is coming to a close, parents can rest assured that learning opportunities will still exist all summer long as this year's annual College For Kids event gears up for another summer of science.
College For Kids, which has been happening every summer for the past two decades, is hosted by Northern Michigan University inside the Seaborg Mathematics and Science Center in the West Science Building.
"It's an opportunity for children to participate in hands-on science," said Susan Nazarko, coordinator of Precollege Programs for the center. "We have excellent teachers and the kids are busy for three hours with science activities. Even the young children ... if you could listen to their excitement when their parents pick them up and (the parents are) asking about what they learned, it's remarkable what they take with them from those opportunities."
College for Kids at Northern Michigan University, held for the past 20 years, is a fun program for children during the summer months. Activities can include field trips or classroom instruction, as seen above. (Journal file photo)
Children in kindergarten through eighth grade are welcome to participate in the event, with four-day sessions running June 25-28, July 9-12, July 16-19 and July 23-26.
Each day offers a three-hour morning section and afternoon section, with the option of signing children up for both sessions or just one.
The cost for a full four-day student with one session each day is $50, although if a child is registered for a course that involves a field trip, the cost rises to $60.
Parents also have the option of registering their children for both the morning and the afternoon sessions and packing a lunch for the children to eat between sessions. The lunch costs $8 for the week and children are given a variety of educational games to play.
Last year's event saw 324 registered students participate in a number of different classes and activities, all of which are put on by NMU education students and supervised by Seaborg Center personnel.
Classes offered this year include a grade K-2 course that will have students making simple machines out of LEGOs, a grade 3-5 course that will take children on a field trip to study amphibians and reptiles and a grade 6-8 course that will have students building an architecturally sound bridge.
The field trip courses are always a favorite among the kids, Nazarko said.
"Children spend a half an hour to 45 minutes learning about ... turtles, toads, snakes, lizards, then they go and have a field trip," she said. "We have people trained to work with these animals and the children get to handle the ones that are safe to handle. There's a great deal of learning going on and the kids love going tromping in the woods."
All of the courses are as hands-on as possible, Nazarko said.
"We believe at the Seaborg Center that learning science is about doing science," she said. "Doing science is the best way to learn it."
Parents interested in signing their children up for College For Kids can call the Seaborg Center at 227-2002, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For a full course listing visit nmu.edu/seaborg
Class sizes are limited. Registration runs up to the Friday before the event. Students are signed up for specific courses on a first-come first-serve basis.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.