Science-U: Innovation At Work
A Science Camp Staff's Role: Over-Managing the Details
The summer science camps have evolved over the last 15 years at Penn State in many ways. They are each very individual curricula, and the directors and staff are encouraged to diverge from the traditional chalk and talk science or math class and infuse creativity, innovation and lots of room for staff-to-camper engagement.
Just like Walt Disney once said "People can feel perfection," quality is in the imperceptible things that campers might not even know they are part of. Whether it means adding extra materials to make an experiment closer to 'the real thing' or acting the part of a crazed scientist to understand why we try different experiments, devotion to creativity lets campers (and their parents) know they are worth the effort. This is what creates the magic that campers will remember for years to come.
Science-U Staff Training
Founded upon the principles of creativity and innovation exemplified by the academic faculty in the College of Science, Science-U fosters and organizes the creative energy of its employees with great success. Staff Training has three prongs, that once completed, help to shape the well-rounded staff we host each summer. The three training sessions are:
1) Science-U Online Training (https://online.science.psu.edu/scienceutraining_/node/7021)
The online training should be completed before attending the other two training sessions. It provides an overview of the program, as well as an overview of teaching and learning for kids of all ages.
2) Sharing the Vision Training Session (April 4th, 2017, 5-6pm)
The entire staff will come together to meet and get on the same page about the upcoming summer events.
3) Innovation at Work Training Session (June 15th and 16th, 2017, 9am-5pm)
At this training session, staff will learn techniques to engage campers and learn how to unearth fresh strategies that empower children to think deeply and solve real world problems. They will also engage in activities that build effective communication skills, science advocacy, teamwork, and leadership. The training wraps up with a staff picnic to meet all of the camp directors and instructors before launching into summer camp!