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2016 American Camp Association (ACA) Conference
Created by NASA Wavelength Last updated 2/10/2016
Explore our sampler of fun and educational activities for camps and outdoor learning centers from the Wavelength collection. Want more? Try the following keyword searches in Wavelength: "Outdoor" or "Kinesthetic" to find activities best done outside or based on physical activities; "Art" for STEM activities that incorporate arts activities, or browse "Informal Education" and refine your search by categories like middle school programming, families, and more.
Be sure to also check out collections of activities such as the "Explore!" series - NASA activities for children designed specifically for use in libraries and other out-of-school settings, e.g., http://tinyurl.com/ExploreToTheMoon or http://tinyurl.com/JupitersFamilySecrets.
- All ages - The twelve guides - one per month - each contain a science topic, an interpretive story, a sky object to view with finding charts, hands-on activities, and connections to NASA science. The guides are modular, so that educators can use the portions that are the most useful for their audiences/events. Monthly themes include: May - Hubble Deep Field, June - Hercules Cluster, and July - Ring Nebula.
- All ages - This tutorial lays the foundation to participate in the Students' Cloud Observations Online (S'COOL) project, which engages students and citizen scientists in contributing to NASA science: making and reporting ground truth observations of clouds, which helps NASA validate observations from the CERES satellite instrument.
- Ages 6-10 - Children learn about making observations, taking scientific measurements and recording their findings in a science journal. In the story, students Simon, Anita and Dennis join Hannah, a local scientist, as they comparing spring and fall observations of changes they see at Willow Creek. Part of the Elementary GLOBE series of illustrated storybooks and activities.
- Ages 6-10 - This science-based storybook provides an introduction to soil description and sampling. Simon, Anita and Dennis follow their dog, Scoop, and find themselves in the middle of an adventure in soil. This is one of four storybooks under the title Elementary GLOBE; each book also has companion learning activities that complement the science covered in each story.
- Ages 6-10 - In this story, children learn that clouds have different names based on their appearance and position in the atmospheric column. Contrails, or condensation trails, are also discussed. Part of the Elementary GLOBE series of illustrated storybooks and activities.
- Ages 6-10 - in this story, children learn about seasonal migration of hummingbirds as they are exposed to the scientific process. Students Anita, Simon and Dennis and the rest of Ms. Patel's class research when the hummingbirds have gone and when they might return. Part of the Elementary GLOBE series of illustrated storybooks and activities.
- Ages 6-10 - Students learn how plants, animals, water, air, and soil are all connected in the Earth system. In this storybook, Simon, Anita, Emily and the rest of Ms. Patel's class gain an understanding of Earth system science while preparing their end of the school year play. The play in the story can also be performed as an activity. This science-based storybook is the last of four under the title Elementary GLOBE; each book also has companion learning activities that complement the science covered in each story.
- All ages - Even first-time observers can control the ground-based MicroObservatory telescopes from their computer, download their images and access the Observing With NASA "Control Telescope" web interface at anytime.
- All ages - The toolkit includes background information about the Sun, magnetic fields of the Earth and Sun, and space weather, activity suggestions, and detailed activity scripts. Themes address both the constant nature of the Sun as a reliable source of energy and the dynamic nature of the Sun due to its changing magnetic fields. These activities can be done separately or as a group as part of an informal education event.
- Ages 8-12 - Introductory activity for "Explore! To the Moon and Beyond" series, children will sing about the LRO mission to the Moon, learn that craters on the Moon may harbor water ice, and discover how LRO is searching for water and other resources needed to build future lunar outposts.
- Ages 11-14 - This is an activity about albedo, which is a measurement of the reflectance of a planet's surface. Learners will classify areas on an image in terms of albedo values and then sketch their own portion of an image from space. These sketches are assembled to view the larger image that the class or group has created.AAAS Benchmarks: 12D/H1
- In September 2012, NASA’s Dawn mission left Vesta, one member of the main asteroid belt and is heading to explore a second new world, dwarf planet Ceres, arriving in late March/early April 2015. When it reaches Ceres, Dawn will become the first spacecraft to go into orbit around two destinations in our solar system beyond Earth. Join in the fun with this collection of games, interactives and activities from NASA’s Dawn mission.
- Students are introduced to the scientific tool of spectroscopy. They each build a simple spectroscope to examine the light from different light sources, particularly the Sun (Warning: Do not look directly at the Sun) and artificial lights (e.g., fluorescent or sodium lamps).AAAS Benchmarks: 4F/M1
- NASA is interested in clouds because they are an integral part of the water cycle, and because they are a controlling factor in the Energy budget of the Earth. This chart provides a basic introduction to the identification of clouds. The reverse contains a much more detailed cloud chart from NOAA's National Weather Service.
- We spend pretty much all our time on Earth’s crust. It’s where all the land and oceans are. But below the crust, there’s a lot going on. To remember that Earth is much more than just the surface we see every day, make this Earth layer fan.
- Create your own full view of our planet as if it were seen from space—something that was not achieved until the 20th century. Even better, the end result will be a colorful “stained glass” window-style ornament that shows off its bright colors when light shines through!
- As beautiful as these fall colors are, they are actually an important indicator of changing climate as well. Scientists are especially interested with the timing of when leaves begin to change color. In this activity you get to create a stunning “stained glass” leaf. What better way to highlight the changing seasons than a beautifully translucent, fall-colored ornament?
- A terrarium is like an aquarium, but for plants instead of fish. It is made in just about any glass container. It is planted to look like a miniature garden or forest enclosed in its own little world. You can easily make a beautiful terrarium yourself.
- NASA Visualization Explorer (NASAViz) is your portal to the coolest stories about NASA’s exploration of Earth, the sun, moon, planets and universe. A new story is released every Tuesday and Thursday. Download the app now and get stories delivered right to your iOS device.
- Here are some Day Camp Friendly Activities. TIPS 1. Choose an activity that is easy to implement. 2. Know the space required to implement the activity. 3. Allow time to convert the activity into your program’s “language”. 4. Adjust the activity based on the time available in your program. 5. Spend time with your instructor to help them understand the goals of the particular activity within the context of your camp.