Class Act: Spring Break Science Camp

HELENA – This week marks spring break for many Helena area public schools.

For some students, school was still in session as they took part in Capital High’s first Spring Break Science Camp.

Capital High Senior Caleb Noble spearheaded the planning and the curriculum, doing his part to pique the interest of the next generation of scientists.

“I was really nervous about it,” said Noble.  “But I’ve had some great support from Mrs. Urban and the other science teachers and we’ve got a lot of high school volunteers who are really excited to meet the kids and play with them and to do these little experiments.”

The camp covered three topics: chemistry, robotics and biology.

The initial idea came from brainstorming ideas to raise funds to help the science club travel to and participate in various events.

“We needed a way to pay for the bus and hotels and registration fees and so we were brainstorming ideas on how we could fundraise,” says Caleb.  “And Mrs. Urban came up with the idea to host a science camp for elementary and middle school kids.”

Beyond the initial brainstorming lies the real work: organizing the camp and executing the plan.

Capital High Biology teacher Sarah Urban said that was all Caleb, with assistance from his fellow students.

“The kids have done everything from the lesson planning to the organization, the registration, all of it is completely student driven,” said Mrs. Urban

With a teacher in each room and a handful of student leaders, these students have created motorized robots, examined the elements of a fake crime scene and dissected squid.  And that was just day one.

“Elementary and middle school kids are so inquisitive and I think it’s so important to get them interested in science and hands on and learning at a really young age so that they can just continue,” said Mrs. Urban.

Adds Caleb, “Exposing them to these science related fields, I think is really important to drum up that interest and then get them into science club eventually.”

It’s an interest that’s brought these kids to science camp at an early age, some as young as kindergarten, into fields that will only continue inspiring inquisitive minds.

“There’s so many opportunities in science and so many avenues you can pursue and so many different things to learn that,” said Mrs. Urban. “That’s one of the things I always tell my high school students: the more you know, the more you don’t know and there’s always something new to learn.”