Bank Street Summer Camp & the NY Hall of Science Ensure Fun with Science
As the temperature continues to drop, summer seems to move further away. However, before we know it, school will be out and Bank Street Summer Camp and the NY Hall of Science are looking forward to a summer of learning and fun. How can you tell when children are learning? Dr. Alan Friedman, consulting senior scientist to the NY Hall of Science, posed this question to parents, teachers, and administrators at the Bank Street School for Children Summer Science information meeting recently. The answer, Dr. Friedman explained, lies in numerous factors. In addition to formal instruction, children also learn outside of the classroom. “ninety-two percent of learning is informal,” said Dr. Friedman in citing the results of studies on the different types of learning. Dr. Friedman also pointed out that an excellent predictor of learning is having a passionate interest in a topic. Helping students develop a passionate interest in science has become a daunting task for many teachers. A lack of resources and pressure to focus on literacy and math test scores forces teachers to skim over science lessons or eliminate them entirely from the curriculum. As schools struggle to teach science, it has become more critical for other educational institutions to supplement a child’s knowledge. In collaboration with the NY Hall of Science, Bank Street Summer Camp is proud to offer campers an opportunity to explore and learn about science. Cookie Mellitz Shapiro, Director of Bank Street Summer Camp, is excited about the upcoming program and is pleased to offer activities that emphasize physical as well as mental development. “Balance is what makes us [the camp] unique,” she said. The science activities will focus on physical science, using labs and other resources under the guidance of NY Hall of Science staff and camp counselors. Campers ranging from ages 4 to 13 will visit the Hall of Science and participate in workshops emphasizing experimentation, teamwork, and problem solving skills through hands-on activities. The activities include the Journey into Microspace, the Science of Sports, Reasons for Seasons, and Marvelous Molecules workshops. Campers will also have the opportunity to explore the museum on their own. Allowing children to make their own discoveries is a key element of developing an appreciation for science. “Kids need to be able to construct their own knowledge and form their own theories,” confirmed Dr. Friedman. As Eric Siegel, Vice-President of the Hall of Science, commented, “children have a natural affinity for science through their curiosity. We need to help them cultivate this skill.” Wendy Hill, whose son, Robert Hill Guarino is a Bank Street student, is also enthusiastic about the program. “I think it’ll be a fantastic experience,” she stated. “Science is magical for kids and I hope Robert will be able to avail himself of this.”#
For more information about Bank Street Summer Camp and the NY Hall of Science, visit their websites at www.bankstreet.edu/camp/index.html and www.nyscience.org/index.php.