“Young Scholars” Camps Returning This Summer for Area Youth
April 20, 2015
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— For the second consecutive year, Illinois Wesleyan University will
offer “IWU Young Scholars” camps. This academic summer enrichment program offers camps
for students from fourth through eighth grades that incorporate a liberal arts focus
through hands-on activities and student-designed projects. The camps are taught in
small classes by licensed teachers and Illinois Wesleyan faculty.
“Inventions/Innovations,” a camp for students entering fourth or fifth grade, will allow students the opportunity
to use facilities on campus, from the computer labs to the observatory, to analyze
how inventions impact our lives. Students can develop their own creations to address
a problem they identify, and use 3D printing as they consider the whole invention
process from design, cost analysis, prototyping and testing.
The “Young Scientists” camp is for students entering sixth through eighth grades. Hands-on experimentation
and student-designed projects are the focus of this camp, providing students multiple
opportunities to work through the experimental process in a variety of disciplines
including biology, physics, chemistry, environmental studies, programming and photography.
Enrollment in “Young Scientists” is currently at capacity; organizers encourage those
who are interested to add their names to a waiting list.
Students will share their ideas in a supportive environment modeled on the popular
ABC television program Shark Tank. “Professors will give the students feedback not only in developing their ideas,
but also helping them understand better the underlying science,” said Gabriel C. Spalding,
B. Charles and Joyce Eichhorn Ames Professor of Physics. “We think this will give
the students a sense of ownership over the material. We’re going to try and help them
come up with fantastic ideas.”
In developing the program, faculty from across a variety of disciplines worked with
IWU alumni and current educational studies students to design a curriculum that fully
utilizes the college environment and campus facilities to offer children a variety
of opportunities for exploration.
“It turns out this was such a successful model that only four students from our community
who participated last year are not returning this year, and they have scheduling conflicts,”
said Spalding. “That says that there is an enormous desire in our community for exactly
this kind of program.”
Both camps meet July 6-16, Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.
The fee is $305 per student for either of the two-week sessions, and includes lunch
each day in the University’s Dining Commons. Early drop-off and after hours supervision
is available for an additional fee.