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Mad Science Camps Keep Learning Going over Summer

Jun 29, 2016 08:44AM ● Published by Kelly Cannon

Kids learn about different insects and bugs during the summer camps. —Mad Science

By Kelly Cannon | kelly@mycityjournals.com

Cottonwood Heights

Kids can keep learning about science and engineering after the last bell of school stops ringing. Mad Science is hosting a series of summer camps at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center that focus on science and engineering.

 The franchise, based in Centerville, runs various after-school programs, in-class workshops, birthday parties and summer camps from Ogden to Provo.

 “It’s different science subjects,” said owner Laurie Larsen. “Some focus on biology, some focus on engineering, some focus on physics and chemistry.”

 Larsen bought the company eight years ago, after the previous owner had run the business for 10 years. Larsen said she had an interest in astronomy at a young age after watching “Cosmos,” hosted by Carl Sagan.

 “I got my social work degree but I knew I wanted to run my own business,” Larsen said. “I went back to [Salt Lake Community College] and took some classes on business and then waited for the right opportunity.”

 Larsen said she and her business partner looked at different options but landed on Mad Science since they both had a passion for science.

 There will be five different camps at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center that will start in June and will end in August. Brixology is the first camp of the year, starting at the beginning of June.

 “Kids will make one to two Lego build sets. They will also take home something connected to the theme. The themes include bridges, carnival and creatures,” Larsen said. “It’s three hours of science and engineering.”

 The next camp is Rockets and Robots. This camp spends the first three days discussing aerodynamics and the components of rocket flight. The kids then get to build and launch their own rockets. The second half of the camp is devoted to studying computer science and having the kids design and build their own robots.

 The third camp is Crazy Chemworks. This camp focuses primarily on chemistry and kids will learn about chemistry through different activities. These include using lab equipment, making green ooze, learning how to measure pH factor and learning all about how glow-in-the-dark materials work.

 “When people think about science, they usually think about chemistry,” Larsen said.

 The Junior Engineers camp is a science grab bag. Each day of the camp focuses on a different science topic, including astronomy and space travel, computer programing, chemistry, engineering and forensic science.

 The final camp is the NASA Academy of Future Space Explorers. Mad Science has partnered with NASA engineers to develop the camp curriculum.

 “They discuss the sun and stars, the planets and moons, space technology and they also get to build a rocket,” Larsen said.

The camps are designed for children between kindergarten and sixth grade, with the exception of the brixology camp, which is for grades three to six because of the difficult nature of building the different Lego projects.

 Each camp generally consists of 20-plus campers and can range up to 30. Most importantly, Larsen said these camps are fun and educational.

 “Parents are worried about their kids not keeping their brains going during summer. These camps definitely keep the brains going,” Larsen said. “It’s very hands-on with very little lecture, a short demonstration and then hands-on from there. Everything is connected to what they are learning.”

 To learn more about the Mad Science camps or to register a child for the camps, visit http://greatersaltlake.madscience.org.  

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