Children engaged in STEM activities at Health Museum’s summer camps
Registration is now open for The Health Museum’s summer Discovery Camps for children.
La Tanya Miles, M.Ed. director of education and public programming at The Health Museum, said that the museum is dedicated toward looking at camps that provide a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) background, with an integration of art.
The camps meet weekly from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m in June, July and August. Before and after care is also available for an extra fee from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Camps are age appropriate and are available for age groups 5-7, 8-10 and 11-13.
“We want to create an initial foundation early on for critical thinking fields, exploring career fields in health and medical science and developing a level of career readiness. Creating a diverse work force is essential to solving problems of tomorrow,” Miles said.
John Arcidiacono, president and Chief Executive Officer of The Health Museum, notes that the camps have been going on for at least the last 20 years.
“Kids have come to these camps and gone on to do something in those STEM fields. They are learning things that a lot of other summer camps don’t provide. We make sure our programing is aligned with health and wellness,” Arcidiacono said.
Each camp focuses on a different topic. Some of these topics include chemistry, veterinarian science, technology and culinary science.
The campers will get to experience a variety of activities. An example of an activity is suturing, where the student gets a silicone pad with a incision, and they learn how to sew it back up.
“These are middle schoolers who are able to do what the doctor is doing,” Arcidiacono said.
According to Miles, the campers go on field trips as as they relate to the different topics.
“In the mini medicine camp, they see a medical simulation at Texas Women’s University. The nursing students perform as actors. They simulate different experiences and the campers react in real time. The vet science camps go to the Houston Zoo,” Miles said.
Miles continued, “We try to make it as rich and robust as possible.”
The campers will also learn about public health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
“We have had a lot of positive feedback. We had one lady who brought her children from Chicago. The whole family spent the week here in Houston. That is indicative of the fact that they think it is valuable, but also engaging and fun. We have students that come back multiple times,” Arcidiacono said.
Arcidiacono and Miles both said that the camps also are a great opportunity for students to combat summer learning loss.
The campers also have full access to the current exhibit displays at The Health Museum.
Camps are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Wait lists are available. Registration can be completed on site at the museum or online at www.thehealthmuseum.org/camps. Some of the camps have different prices, but Miles notes that the average price is $300 for the week. The Health Museum also offers camps during winter and spring breaks.