Twin Cities STEM: Summer Camps & Museums Ideal for Students
Museums & Zoos
The Bakken Museum educates young people about the history of electricity and electromagnetism. This is the world’s only library and museum devoted to medical electricity. Three-day summer camps are offered throughout the summer for 7th to 9th graders. As they tinker and experience with designs and inventions, they will be making their own take-home project. For just a regular field trip, the museum has a program for 7-12 graders. Students will participate in a 45-minute theatrical presentation and explore the hands-on exhibits including static electricity and the light and sound show. On your own time, take your students to other exhibits including “Tinkering with Prototypes”, “Deep Roots”, “Electropolis” and more.
The Science Museum of Minnesota offers numerous courses for students interested in STEM studies. Game Design Lab allows students to design their interactive game using Scratch programming software. “Design an App” guides students to take their next steps to create their own app. The museum offers educational programs for all ages. The “Rocks Exploration” invites students to explore geology in the format of a simulated newspaper. They will write headlines, analyze evidence to react to opinion pieces and investigate Minnesota’s hottest rock group. All programs simulate STEM studies.
If your students are interested in becoming a veterinarian or environmental scientist, the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory will be the perfect field trip for them. In the Animal Career program, students will explore different career opportunities available and discuss ethical dilemmas in animal work with an animal ambassador. Students will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’s greenhouses in the Keepers of the Garden and Zoo program. Besides these programs, there are many animal, garden and art attractions in the park.
Universities and Academia
The University of Minnesota has a great School of Science and Engineering for undergraduates as well as for future engineers. A field trip to the University will engage students in various STEM activities. Yours include demos and hands-on activities for groups interested in bioproducts and biosystems engineering including biofuels, food safety, water quality and more. The Civil, Environmental and Geo tour a tour of a unique facility seven floors underground with labs studying structures and water quality. Other tours include Digital Technology, Medical Device, Energy and U Shows, Minnesota Institue for Astrophysics and many more.
The University of Minnesota also offers many summer camps for 6th-12th graders. Discover STEM is a week-long day program where students will experience campus life, learn about academic programs and explore potential careers through activities such as lab experiments, science and technology demonstrations, lectures, panel discussions and more. The IMA-MathCep Math Modeling Camp is also a week-long that offers high schoolers to use their mathematical skills to analyze real-world situations. With the supervision of University faculty, participants will work on open-ended modeling problems,develop practical solutions and present results to their peers.
The University of St. Thomas is a private Catholic school located in St. Paul, Minnesota. You can make a special request to tour the School of Engineering where studetns will be able to meet the Dean. On top of this, a facility tour of the Owens Science Hall is also an option. This space includes seven laboratories, a student machine shop, computer room and commons area study. The Beakers Coffee Shop is on the second floor as well as the greenhouse garden. The observatory is located on top of the Anderson Parking Facility.
From active activities to calming bird watching and forest education, Afton State Park has it all. These activities are available year round. In the summer, boating, fishing and horseback riding are great choices. Your best bet for the winter is snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-county skiing. Geocaching is a popular activity here. Students will use a Global Positioning System (GPS) device to find the hidden items. The School Forest Program provides students with outdoor and environmental education, real-life situations and life-long critical thinking.
Enjoy the banks of the Mississippi River at the Mississippi National River and Recreational Area. Experience the river through many programs such as Bike-with-a-Ranger, Adventure! and Historic Fort Snelling. The history and culture of this park are rich. You can visit the Meeker Lock and Dam where the site of the first lock and dam on the river. This was an era of rapid economic development and technological changes on the river.