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Discover a world of hands-on interactive fun with enrichment topics that feature active participation and imagination. Kids' University camps combine approximately two to three hours of academic enrichment a day, introducing the fascinating worlds of agriculture, language, math or science in a format that focuses on fun. The rest of the day is spent playing sports or games, swimming, rock climbing, and exploring the many facets of the University of Minnesota, resulting in a great, well-rounded experience.
2015 Kids' U Summer Camp Schedule
Please select an option from the list above.
A Bee's Life
Do you find yourself buzzing about bees? Are you sweet on nature’s little honeys? Campers are invited to spend the week learning about bee biology and what life would be like if you lived in a bee colony. Learn all about bee relatives; how bees help us grow our food, and even make some Honey Treats for yourself!
Blast Off! Rocketry
This action packed camp focuses solely on rockets and the physics of rocket flight. Learn about model rocket design, aerodynamics, building, propulsion, launching, safety, and repair. Students build a variety of rockets to take home and take part in daily launches. Whether you are serious about model rockets or just a novice, this camp is a blast for boys and girls alike.
Chemistry in Action!
Oobleck, Chromatography, and Alka Seltzer rockets, oh my! Polymers, pH and density-no lie. Budding chemists will explore the interactions between matter and energy, all while learning about the fundamental properties, during this week of hands on experimentation and fun in partnership with the Bell Museum.
Find out why Chess is the most popular game in the world. This camp covers rules, strategies and tactics as we bring the pieces to life in a fun way using creativity and imagination. Try a giant chess set, the biggest you’ve ever seen! The benefits of chess have been proven to help with logic, memory, analysis, reading, and more. Beginners and those with some experience are welcome.
Chinese Language & Culture
Do you know which country is currently home to the most English speakers in the world? Believe it or not, it’s China. Immerse yourself in the culture and learn Chinese! Experience the routine of a traditional exercise such as Taiji Quan or basic Kung Fu. A one hour Chinese lesson, plus a Chinese game and a project such as knot tying, paper cutting, or others will make this an exciting camp for all.
Chinese for Immersion Students
If you are a student at a full-immersion school, this is your chance to explore new dimensions of Chinese language and youth culture. Learn to play the same games, read the same books, and share stories just like your Chinese peers like to do in China. This camp will also have a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) through fun activities. Meet new friends or sign up with classmates to have some fun before the new school year. This camp is reserved only for those who attended 100% Mandarin immersion programs since kindergarten.
Mad scientists wanted! Try your hand with some super solutions and explore the chemistry of everyday life. This camp is bubbling over with classic experiments and crazy concoctions with spectacular hands on activities for our younger campers.
Earth, Cosmos, and Beyond
Discover the wonders of the night sky and explore the solar system, galaxy, and universe. Where have we been, where can we go, and what does it take to get there? Fun activities that are out of this world will help you find answers to these questions! Investigate the Earth’s rotation, the sun, planets and moon, life beyond Earth, space exploration, myths and realities. This camp also includes a session in the Bell Museum’s popular ExploraDome.
Engineering in Nature
Explore how nature inspires human design and engineering! This week you will spend time looking at examples of exquisite “engineering” in the natural world. Get ready for adventure with an engineering and nature scavenger hunt, dissecting a flower, fish or grasshopper, building different bird nests and beaver lodges, and designing your own insect traps. From spider webs to pitcher plants and flying machines, you will discover the deep connections between nature and the human-made environment.
Enraptured w/ Raptors
Want to learn all about the birds of prey called raptors? Find out what characteristics all raptors have in common and the differences between owls, falcons, hawks, and other raptors. Take part in activities at the Raptor Center; see live raptors up close!
Explore the life of a wildlife biologist by studying living flora and fauna, and their relationship to their environment. Collect plant and animal specimens and understand the importance of the collection process. Learn about the different biomes of Minnesota while learning some basic bird calls, and then go birding! Take a tour of the Bell Museum’s mammal collections, and then try your hand at radio telemetry as you look for hidden animals around campus. Don’t miss out on this exciting week of hands on learning as you explore the world of field biology!
Get hooked on a lifetime activity! Explore underwater habitats, learn about water stewardship and regulations, and increase your fishing skills during this week. Fun activities include fish anatomy, pop can casters, pond dipping and more! This camp takes place at the lake, so dress for outdoor activity.
Ever wonder why bananas and apples turn brown once you peel them, or how vegetables can turn colors? With so many ingredients that are white, how do you tell the difference between flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt?! Find all of the answers to your questions and send your taste buds on a trip as you learn culinary basics through hands-on cooking activities and food science experiments. Learn about kitchen and food safety, how to make your plate a rainbow, and create your very own tasty snack every day in this week full of delicious (and nutritious) fun!
Uncover the gross but fascinating characteristics of raptors. Learn why a Turkey Vulture poops on its feet and how it stays healthy even though it eats dead animals. Explore the difference between owl pellets and owl mutes. Look at the life cycles of some parasites that are “hitch hikers” on raptors and learn why these “natural recyclers” are an important part of the food chain. Try many hands-on activities and see live education owls, hawks, falcons, eagles, and a Turkey Vulture.
Honey Bees, Pollinators and Our Food
Observe working honey bees in their hive, extract & bottle honey, build bee nest boxes and try on a beekeepers suit. During this week you will learn the anatomy of a honey bee and how they differ between queen, workers, and drones. You will also find out what their life is like and how important they are to the ecosystem and the food we eat. Join us as we spend the week doing fun activities at the Bell Museum’s Honey House!
Discover the University of Minnesota’s Equine Center and the important services it provides to horses. Get to know the horses that now live there full time through hands-on training in care and handling. Campers will learn how to be safe around these large animals; they will learn safe leading techniques and the basics of horse health and nutrition. Activities include horse management, feeding, basic grooming and a brief introduction to the three styles of riding. Campers will have the opportunity to sit on horses in different tack and be led in the arena to get a feel for what riding is all about. Camp does not include riding lessons.
The world is full of energy that doesn’t need a cord, a switch, or an outlet to use. Explore nature’s energy sources by making and racing solar cars, cooking in a solar oven, designing your own kite, launching water bottle rockets and more!
Nature provides us with many fun and delicious food options! Make ice cream and soft pretzels, cook in a solar oven, try out cattail treats, and make lunch over a campfire. Dress for outdoor activity at the Nature Center.
Why isn’t Pluto a planet anymore? And is there really a planet that is made up of diamond? Campers will investigate what makes a planet a planet, and how and why scientists are exploring space. This camp includes a session in the Bell Museum’s ExploraDome.
Come learn about life as a wildlife veterinarian at the Raptor Center, including the process of raptor rehabilitation from admission to release. Participate in lots of exciting hands-on activities and get up close and personal with live education eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons. Camp also includes an extra field trip. A fun way to learn about the exciting science of veterinary medicine!
Raptor Biomimicry and Engineering
What do talons have to do with nonslip shoes, or vultures with solar energy? How do feathers and eggs inspire insulators and camouflage? Explore nature’s designs and how humans can be inspired by them! Spend the week designing and engineering using raptor adaptations and live birds as your muse at the Raptor Center!
Young engineers discover how to design, build and program robots as they work to investigate key concepts such as gear ratios, locomotion and energy–and dream up their own awesome robots using the acclaimed LEGO® MINDSTORMS® RCX robotics kit. Campers will explore the mechanical and electrical engineering that makes robots possible while building the OWI Robot. This camp is designed to inspire young people and develop an early interest in robotics engineering and technology.
Summer STEM Series
How does an idea become a thing? What makes these new things actually work? Explore engineering through activities that let you design, test, build, and redesign products. Find out what an ‘engineer’ really does through fun, problem solving experiences. This is a unique opportunity to assist in testing new activities and teaching techniques made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation with partners from the University of Minnesota’s STEM Education Center and the College of Science and Engineering. Each week will include different activities, so repeat attendance is welcome. No experience or special skills necessary.
July 20-24: Earth Science
Explore earth’s natural history and learn how to use earth materials to design and test prototypes that could protect the environment in your own neighborhood!
July 27-31: Physical Science
Ever wanted to know how a magnet works? Learn about the science of magnetism and electricity and how to use their power to engineer products of the future!
August 3-7: Life Science
Dive into the world of microscopic and learn about the structure of cells and the science of genetics. In a hands-on, lab environment, build and test products that could one day save lives.
August 10-14 & 17-21: Engineering A-La Carte
Explore a variety of science areas to inspire engineering designs and test your prototypes in unique and exciting challenges. Learn how to build a water filter, study the structure of cells, or test the laws of physics—the possibilities are endless!
Vet Careers: Horses and More
Meet the horses at the University’s Equine Center and learn about the Veterinarians, technicians, researchers, horse trainers and staff in equestrian management that work with them. Get hands on experience with basic equine skills such as heart rate measurement, identifying lameness and signs of colic, wrapping legs and treating wounds, and tests with horses exercising on treadmills. One day will be dedicated to an interactive program with Veterinary Medicine students presenting how all types of veterinarians affect the lives of different animals and people every day. Several hands-on activities and simulations will be enjoyed related to anatomy and real-life situations. No horseback riding is included and no open toe shoes are allowed.
Wizarding World of Wildlife
In the tradition of Hogwarts, discover potions, herbology, transfiguration and the care of magical creatures. What do raptors have to do with dragons? Which magical house will you end up in? What magical properties will your wand be made out of? Find answers to these questions and uncover the secrets of Minnesota’s Hedwig and other interesting animals at the Raptor Center.