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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Big Blue and VMASC Camps Offer Summer STEM Activities

By Noell Saunders

Old Dominion University's Department of Recreation and Wellness is incorporating more STEM-related activities into the 8-week long Big Blue Summer Camp series.

The American Camp Association (ACA) camps are designed to help boys and girls ages 6-14 develop friendship skills, independence, teamwork, family citizenship, competence, interest exploration, responsibility, affinity for nature and confidence in problem solving outside a classroom setting.

ODU's camps are designed around eight weekly themes. In addition to each week's theme, campers participate in swimming, arts and crafts, sports, rock climbing, kayaking and field trips.

The Big Blue Summer Camp prides itself on providing children with highly motivated and enthusiastic staff who mentor child campers. Candidates must meet strict qualifications that meet and often exceed licensing guidelines. Staff also must adhere to ACA's camper-to-counselor ratios to ensure appropriate supervision is maintained throughout the duration of the program.

This year's theme weeks for Big Blue Summer Camp include:

  • Outdoor Adventure Challenge Camp, June 19-23. The Outdoor Adventure Challenge Camp is designed to challenge campers with a variety of adventures and opportunities. Campers can expect to climb an indoor rock wall, try geocaching, kayaking and other outdoor activities.

  • Under the Sea Marine Camp, June 26-30. The Under the Sea Marine Camp will feature programs and activities from ODU's Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography. Younger campers, ages 6- 8, will explore the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay by investigating habitats and adaptations of marine organisms that live in salt marshes and the Bay. Older campers ages, 9- 14, will discover how to investigate the marine ecology of the Chesapeake Bay and learn how research is contributing to the conservation of our local marine environment.
  • Air and Space Camp, July 10-14. Campers will explore the world above through a week of cosmic adventures with partners from the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, also known as Virginia Space. Younger campers will interact with staff from NASA Education. Older campers will visit NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.

  • Animal Adventure Camp, July 17-21. Campers will learn about all kinds of animals and their habitats, through various activities that incorporate art, animal-themed activities and off-site trips.
  • Around the World, July 24-28. Campers will explore the wonders of the world; learn about various cultures through games, arts and crafts projects; expand their knowledge of society; and discover cultural diversity.

  • Time Travel Camp, July 31-August 4. Campers will learn about a different decade every day. Costumes are encouraged. Campers will play key games, perform activities and build crafts from each decade.
  • How It's Made Camp, August 7-11. The How It's Made Camp is modeled after the Science Channel's popular TV show "How It's Made." Campers will learn how a number of everyday objects are made in addition to visiting local establishments.
  • Land of Make Believe, August 14-18. Campers will channel their inner prince/princess or Harry Potter character while exploring the Land of Make Believe. Campers will use their imaginations and become anything they want through fun and games, activities and crafts.

For more camp information, contact bigbluecamp@odu.edu or call 757-683-3384.

Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) Summer Camps

Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center offers camps ranging from robotics to game development to 3D modeling in an effort to enhance learning and a life-long interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

Each of the summer camp opportunities is facilitated by University faculty members and researchers, are geared towards fostering engineering and design talents, providing hands-on demonstrations and leading innovative projects within an environment that promotes teamwork.

This year's VMASC Camp options include:

  • Introduction to Robotics, June 26-30;

  • 3D Modeling, June 26-30;

  • 3D Modeling for 3D Printing, July 10-14;

  • Unity Game Development, July 24-28;

  • Advanced Robotics, August 7-11; and

  • 3D Sculpting, August 7-11.

For more information or to register, visit the VMASC Summer Camp website.