Discovery Center Summer of Science

With all new topics and ways to see behind the scenes, there's hands-on learning for every scientist this summer at the Discovery Center. All new this year, join us for our Two Day Camps for two full days of STEM fun or at Discovery Center VIP Days where you can jump the line to our most popular experiences like the VR goggles, 3D printer, HighWire Bike and go behind the scenes to see what most visitors never experience like the Resident Scientist Lab and our Exhibits Workshop. Don't forget, members save even more this summer with a 20% off member discount for all camps, and families registering siblings save 10% after the first child is registered with a special offer code below.

Registration Dates
TBA

*Please utilize full version of the website when using a mobile device for registering

REGISTRATION COMING SOON


 

Camp Dates and Prices

Week Long Camps
May 29-June 2, June 18-22, July 9-13, July 23-27, August 6-10
9:00 am-4:00 pm
$200 members/$250 nonmembers
Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day

ALL NEW: Two Day Camps
May 24-25, July 2-3
9:00 am-4:00 pm
$80 members/$100 nonmembers
Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day

Half Day Camps
Tuesdays June 5, 12, 19, 26 or July 10, 17, 24, 31
Wednesdays June 6, 13, 20, 27 or July 11, 18, 25 and August 1
9:00 am-12:00 pm
$80 members/$100 nonmembers

ALL NEW: Discovery Center VIP Pass
July 4 with special Blow It Up experiments (see camp description)
July 30
August 13
9:00 am-4:00 pm
$40 members/$50 nonmembers

ALL NEW: Better discounts for members and siblings

Member Discount: 20% off all camp fees (prices listed reflect discount)
Sibling Discount: 10% off all camp fees after 1st child is registered at full price. Use discount code SIBLING at checkout for all children registered after the first full price child. Membership discounts can be combined with the sibling discount!


Camp Descriptions

Week Long Camps

Monday-Friday
9:00 am-4:00 pm
$200 members/$250 nonmembers
Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day

DISCOVERY SPACE CAMP (Grades K-3) May 29 – June 2 or August 6-10

Ever wondered how big the universe really is or what satellites are doing up in space? Create space sculptures, explore ancient star maps, and investigate how scientists study our solar system and beyond to discover new exoplanets!

JUNIOR VET AND MED CAMP(K-3) May 29 – June 2 or August 6-10

Don your lab coat, safety goggles, and stethoscopes while learning what it takes to care for animals or humans. Discover how the whole body works together as one big team to keep you healthy. We will do fun chemistry experiments, pretend to dissect virtual specimens on the iPads, and partner with an older student scientist to see a live dissection (if you’re up to the challenge)!

LEGO ENGINEERING (Grades K-3) May 29 – June 2 or August 6-10

Put your problem solving skills to the test and see which solution works best. Campers will use Legos to build structures, toys, and other crazy contraptions as they bring their imaginations to life! Test your skills as we work as a team to help build a LEGO Mindstorm programmable robot.

SPLISH, SPLASH, SCULPT (K-3) May 29 – June 2 or August 6-10

What makes water special and why is it important? Be prepared to get messy while we demonstrate these concepts through art and crafts. Then get wet to wash it all off and explore the wonders of water!

DISSECTION CAMP (Grades 4-8) May 29 – June 2 or August 6-10

What does a brain really look like? How does your circulatory system work? Each day we will dissect two creatures or organ systems and explore the BodyWorks and ChromoZone Galleries of the Discovery Center to learn more about what’s on the inside.

JOURNEY TO MARS (Grades 4 – 8) May 29 – June 2 or August 6-10

Learn to live off the land like a pioneer, build a rover, and complete navigational and biological challenges used by astronauts such as air, food, and water quality testing. Test your new skills by assembling a modern space port with your ground systems team.

SCULPT, DRAW, PAINT (Grades 4-8) May 29 – June 2 or August 6-10

Kids will scientifically explore key Discovery Center exhibits and demonstrate their knowledge of newly learned scientific concepts using arts, crafts, and STEAM activities. Come dressed to make a mess!

TIME MACHINE (Grades 4-8) May 29 – June 2 or August 6-10

Journey back in time to find what tools people used and what scientific discoveries were made in different time periods. Learn skills used in each time period for survival and use virtual reality to visit historical sites where scientists changed the world.

BIOTECHNOLOGY CAMP (Grades 6-8) May 29 – June 2 or August 6-10

Learn how DNA controls physical traits as we extract DNA from a variety of organisms in the DCS resident scientist lab. Use the equipment found in most science research labs to complete lab tasks using incubators, centrifuges, and autoclaves. Enroll soon because this camp is limited to 10 students per week to ensure more hands-on experience with this high tech equipment!

GENERATION PI (Girls Grades 6-8) June 18 – 22

Find your inner math nerd in this camp designed for girls who learn math differently. A fresh alternative to tutoring, we will get you ready to conquer algebra through low stress and social activities like dance, 3-D printing, and games. This camp is a project of the Discovery Center, Missouri State University, and Girl Infinity (Parent must approve Bear Line ride to campus).

A BYTE OF TECH (Girls in Grades 6-8) July 9-13

This girls-only camp introduces you to tech with creative projects in coding, game development, web design, and cybersecurity designed to build your confidence in tech to change the world.  This camp is a project of the Discovery Center, Missouri State University, and Girl Infinity (Parent must approve Bear Line ride to campus).

STEM WEEK AT MSU (Grades 6-8) July 23 – 27

Camper must be dropped off and picked up at MSU and pack a sack lunch each day

Missouri State University’s College of Natural and Applied Sciences is providing campers with a highly stimulating environment for the exploration of science and engineering. We’ll investigate and explore science topics with MSU scientists, utilize college laboratories, and discover options for study in college. Enroll soon because this camp fills quickly!

Half Day and Two Day Camps

Half Day Camps
Tuesdays or Wednesdays*
9:00 am-12:00 pm
$80 members/$100 nonmembers 
*See camp topics for date options

Two Day Camps
See camp topics for date options
9:00 am-4:00 pm
$80 members/$100 nonmembers
Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day

FOSSIL FINDERS (Grades K-3)

Someone has recently donated a real mastodon bone to the Discovery Center. Learn how paleontologists decide where and when to dig and what to do with fossils and bones after they are discovered. Every patch of dirt has something to unearth. Come dressed to dig and play!

Half Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-12:00 pm
Tuesdays June 5, 12, 19, 26
Tuesdays July 10, 17, 24, 31

Two Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-4:00 pm Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day
May 24-25
July 2-3

PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES (K-3)

What makes a plane fly or a train go? Wear walking shoes as we explore our galleries focused on flight and energy while learning about the future of transportation by building things like a magnetic levitation train.

Half Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-12:00 pm
Wednesdays June 6, 13, 20, 27
Wednesdays July 11, 18, 25, August 1

Two Day Camp Dates 
9:00 am-4:00 pm Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day
May 24-25 
July 2-3

PRINCESS AND NINJA SCIENCE (K-3)

How do your favorite characters leap tall buildings or freeze ice so quickly? We’ll look at the physics of energy, motion, and matter in this fun, hands-on learning fantasy camp.

Half Day Camp Dates 
9:00 am-12:00 pm
Tuesdays June 5, 12, 19, 26 
Tuesdays July 10, 17, 24, 31

Two Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-4:00 pm Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day
May 24-25
July 2-3

TINKER AND DESIGN CAMP (Grades K-3)

Bring your designs to life in this hands-on construction camp. Learn how to apply math and science to innovate, design, build, research, and improve our world. Campers will build a miniature version of an actual DCS exhibit!

Half Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-12:00 pm
Wednesdays June 6, 13, 20, 27
Wednesdays July 11, 18, 25, August 1

Two Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-4:00 pm Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day
May 24-25
July 2-3

BLOW IT UP (Grades 4-8)

We’re unleashing our inner pyrotechnician at this explosives camp. We will learn the science of fireworks, explode fresh produce, blast chemistry experiments, launch rockets, and have plenty of fire extinguishers on hand!

Half Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-12:00 pm
Tuesdays June 5, 12, 19, 26
Tuesdays July 10, 17, 24, 31

Two Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-4:00 pm Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day
May 24-25
July 2-3

Also offered as a DCS VIP Pass on July 4!

HOLLYWOOD PHYSICS (4-8)

What do explosive collisions, anti-gravity rooms, sounds in space, and frozen post-apocalyptic scenes all have in common? Physics! Learn about the transfer of energy and Newton’s three laws while watching movie clips, exploring virtual reality, and experiencing the future of gaming.

Half Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-12:00 pm
Tuesdays June 5, 12, 19, 26
Tuesdays July 10, 17, 24, 31

Two Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-4:00 pm Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day
May 24-25
July 2-3

SCIENCE OF DOWNTOWN SPRINGFIELD (4-8)

Visit local businesses, coffee shops, historical landmarks, and other museums within walking distance of the Discovery Center to learn the science hidden in every corner of our city.

Half Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-12:00 pm
Wednesdays June 6, 13, 20, 27
Wednesdays July 11, 18, 25, August 1

Two Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-4:00 pm Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day
May 24-25
July 2-3

3D PRINTING (Grades 4-8)

Have you ever played with a 3D printer? Do you have designs in Tinkercad or OnShape waiting to be printed? Bring your own designs or learn how to create 3D models of anything you can dream up and take home the 3D objects you print!

Half Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-12:00 pm
Wednesdays June 6, 13, 20, 27
Wednesdays July 11, 18, 25, August 1

Two Day Camp Dates
9:00 am-4:00 pm Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack each day
May 24-25
July 2-3

Discovery Center VIP Pass

July 4 (Includes special experiments from the Blow It Up camp. See camp description above)
July 30
August 13
9:00 am-4:00 pm
$40 members/$50 nonmembers
Campers must bring a sack lunch, water bottle, and snack

This is your chance to experience everything DCS has to offer with a backstage pass behind the scenes and all the latest technology at the Discovery Center! Your pass includes a High Wire Bike ticket, VR ticket, 3D printer time, and a backstage pass to areas not open to visitors such as the Exhibit Workshop, the Resident Scientist Lab, and more. Meet a Discovery Center scientist and learn what it takes to run a 60,000 square foot museum with this behind the scenes, all access day of STEM play!

Junior Discovery Camp Counselors

Join the Discovery Center Education Department summer team as a Junior Discovery Camp Counselor! Get hands-on experience as you help with teaching, experiments, and more in this selective program.

Grades: 8-12 and Academy of Exploration Alumni

Requirements:

  • Applicants will be interviewed and chosen based on ability
  • Requires 2 letters of recommendation from previous teachers
  • An essay of no more than 300 words explaining why you’d like to be chosen as a Junior Discovery Camp Counselor
  • Non-refundable $25 application fee

REGISTRATION COMING SOON


 

Scholarship Applications

To qualify for a Summer of Science camp scholarship, please provide ONE of the following documents: either a Free/Reduced Lunch Qualification letter showing the participant’s first and last name from the student’s school OR a letter on school letterhead signed by the school principal that states the student is on free/reduced lunch. 

Scholarship applicants must complete the paper registration form and attach the selected eligibility document—scholarship applicants cannot register online. For more information, please contact the Education Department at info@discoverycenter.org or 417-862-9910.

Due to limited availability, only one scholarship will be awarded per child and two scholarships per family. All scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first served basis. Scholarships will not be processed with missing information, including proof of eligibility. Acceptance/denial letters will be sent via email. Contact the Education Department at info@discoverycenter.org or 417-862-9910 with scholarship questions.

Policies

Pre-registration & pre-payment are required. Once processed, you will receive an email confirmation. If you think you have registered and have not received an e-mail confirmation within 24-48 hours, please contact us.

Students attending week long camps, two day camps, or VIP Passes must bring a sack lunch, snack, and drink to camp each day.

Any children with on-going behavior problems that disrupt the learning environment will be excused from the class without refund.

If a parent or authorized pick-up person does not arrive by 5 minutes past the designated pick up time, staff will begin to call emergency contacts for your child. Continued disregard for the pick-up time can be cause for the dismissal from the program with no refund.

Registration Deadline & Changes: Refunds will only be given up to two weeks before the date of the program or if the program is canceled.

Most camps are limited to 20 campers. Courses with fewer than 8 campers who are enrolled 7 days prior to the start of the session may be subject to cancellation. In this instance, we will contact you immediately to discuss further options.

Grade Requirements: Camp grade levels are indicated for the grade the camper is going into. Exceptions are made on rare occasions with approval from the Education Director. For more information, please contact Jackie Douglas at 417-862-9910 ext. 701 or jdouglas@discoverycenter.org

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