Beating the Summertime Blues: Florida Museum of Natural History
Gainesville is ranked the number one city to raise a family, according to a consumer guide just released this week, and one reason why our city is so family friendly is because there are so many wonderful things for children to do.
When school is out and summer's on for kids grades 1 through 6 what better place to spend the day learning science without a textbook? The Florida Museum of Natural History has a camp that will bring out the the Indiana Jones in your child.
Florida Museum of Natural History:
Their summertime programs offer more than just day trips, it's a summertime destination for the science inclined. It's also an opportunity for kids who like looking into the past but who also enjoy playing in the present.
Paul Ramey, the Assistant Director of Marketing and Public Relations, says, "The thing that really differentiates the museum classes and camps from say just another day care facility would be the real science education component."
And when Ramey says real science, he means it. the museum taps into the knowledge of University of Florida scientists to give students real world experience.
"They can learn about what a scientist actually does and learn about all the different 'ologies,' there's Ichthyology for fish, ornithology is the birds, herpetology reptiles...," adds Ramey.
Public Programs Coordinator, Kendra Lanza-Kaduce explains how she prepares her teaching staff, "I always tell my staff is, think about when you were little, what kind of things did you really find interesting."
For the museum day-campers the breadth of activity spans from following the daily routines of Calusa Indians to pursuing microscopic marine life.
The days are broken up into morning and afternoon sessions, giving campers the option of coming for either half days or for the foolhardy fossil enthusiasts, they can stay all day. Here campers never know what they may unearth. Like the 3-ton, fifteen foot giant sloth skeleton in the fossil exhibit, which roamed the land several million years ago, but was found right here in Newberry.
One elementary school camper was just as surprised as i was. "I thought that there were only little..., I didn't know they were giant," said third grader Elizabeth.
Here traditional camp activities --like clay shaping-- take on added meaning. lessons on the environment, archaeology, biology and geography come together and help cultivate these young inspired minds.
Second grader Milton, explained what he learned,"There was the Columbian mammoth that were not as hairy as the wooly mammoth because they lived in different environments."
Each day for these day-campers the world of the museum becomes their playground. "You learn while you're having fun," says Elizabeth.
Now it's not free, but the program does allow parent's to sign their children up for half days or full days and for as many weeks as they'd like.
MORNING SESSION: 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. $105/week (members)
Lunch Supervision: 12 - 1 p.m. $8
AFTERNOON SESSION 1 - 4:30 p.m. $105/week (members)
$ 130/wk (non-members)
FIELD CAMP - ALL DAY 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. $210/week (member)
FIELD CAMP with Lunch Supervision $200/week (members)
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: (352) 846-2000 ext. 204
By Stacey Samuel, WCJB TV20 News
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