NIU summer camps offer hands-on fun, career exploration

summer-camp-615Students looking for engaging, hands-on ways to explore their interests and career options this summer can now register for Northern Illinois University’s 2016 summer camps.

Day and residential camps will run throughout June, July and August.

The schedule includes both time-tested favorites and exciting new offerings from programs across the NIU community. With options in science and technology, visual arts, music performance, theater, TV broadcasting and sports – to name just a few – there is definitely something to spark the interest of every young learner.

Whatever the subject or age group, every NIU camp experience is all about learning by doing. Campers don’t memorize material or take tests. Instead, they roll up their sleeves and get busy building machines, designing experiments, programming computers, producing movies and plays, honing their athletic skills and making art.

A full schedule is available online at niu.edu/summercamps: log on today to make sure you reserve a spot for your top choice. Several camps offer both merit- and need-based scholarships. Some camps also offer discounts for early-bird registration, children of NIU employees, returning campers or families who enroll multiple children.

Creative Arts, Liberal Arts, and Communications

Camps offer students a chance to flex their creative muscles and work with professional artists, writers, and communications experts.
Camps offer students a chance to flex their creative muscles and work
with professional artists, writers, and communications experts.

Young authors, moviemakers, YouTubers and journalists will be particularly interested in this year’s offerings from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“Our camps immerse students in the creative process,” says Mark Pietrowski, associate director of the college’s External Programming office. “That’s why kids love them so much. They learn how to make things and express themselves. Along the way, some of them catch a glimpse of a future career.”

A returning Liberal Arts and Science favorite, Geography Camp: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse (June 26-July 1), teaches high school students about the field of geography by immersing them in an adventure scenario that involves outwitting roaming hordes of the angry walking dead.

New this year from Liberal Arts and Science is Huskie Pride (June 26-July 1), NIU’s first ever LGBTQ+ camp, designed by members of NIU’s graduate program in mental health counseling. High school students will learn about the LGBTQ+ community, explore how to advocate for change in their schools and communities and get tips for finding colleges friendly to LGBTQ+ students.

For jazz musicians, stage actors and visual artists, the College of Visual and Performing Arts is offering its usual roster of residential camps that help students hone their art through intensive daily practice guided by experts in a university environment.

Science and Tech

Students looking to explore a passion for science, technology, engineering or math can now choose from a wider variety of STEM-related camps than ever before.

STEM camps are all about hands-on learning.
STEM camps are all about hands-on learning.

At the Exploring STEM camps, students entering grades 7-9 can choose from among a wide variety of tracks, including engineering, chemistry, LEGO robotics, art, wild biology, computer coding, green technology, the science of sci-fi, and lightning bolts and magnetic fields.

“This camp always sells out quickly,” says Jeremy Benson, director of STEM Summer Camps. “We have campers who enjoy it so much that they come back and do it multiple times. Some of them worked through several tracks and wanted more – so we made more. We want as many people as possible to find their STEM passion.”

Starting this year, even the youngest students can have a summer STEM experience. The STEM Juniors day camp (June 27-30) will offer project-based STEM activities – including electrical circuit design and 3D printing – for students entering grades 2-5. STEM Divas (June 27-30) includes similar activities, with an additional focus on helping female students embrace STEM skills as empowering.

Also new this year is STEM with Purpose, a residential camp that will bring students entering grades 9-12 from around the world and across the country to learn how STEM skills can be used to address today’s greatest global challenges. Campers are expected from Pakistan, China and several European countries, so local students will be able to meet people from around the world and learn about their cultures without boarding a plane.

For students whose primary tech passion lies in video games, NIU’s Digital Convergence Lab offers a series of game design camps, with options for all levels of computer coding experience.

Career Exploration

career-pathAll NIU summer camps give students a chance to learn more about potential career interests. But at some camps, career-oriented thinking is particularly front and center.

Students in grades 10-12 who attend STEM Career Exploration camps get to pick the professional field that interests them most, whether it’s healthcare, engineering, science, video games, coding or nanotechnology. Campers learn what different jobs in these fields require, enabling them to tailor their coursework accordingly.

At the Athletic Training and Sports Medicine overnight camp (July 10-13), students interested in helping athletes stay learn what it takes to succeed in the field. “Most students at our Sports Medicine camp go on to study athletic training in college and become certified athletic trainers,” says Sue Hansfield, assistant director of Athletics.

A similar professional focus is at the forefront of the new Hospitality Leadership Camp (June 5-10), which gives high school students an introduction to the hospitality industry, including travel and tourism, the hotel industry and restaurant and event management. Through work with NIU professors and trips to local restaurants hotels, campers will learn about the career landscape and get a chance to figure out whether hospitality might be the place for them.

Don’t Delay! Sign up Today!

Don’t wait to check out the full schedule online at niu.edu/summercamps, where you will find camp descriptions, registration information, and details about scholarships and other policies.

Liberal Arts and Sciences

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

  • Engineering Amusement, Week 1: a residential camp for students entering grades 5-7, July 10-15
  • Engineering Amusement, Week 2: July 24-29
  • Exploring STEM, Week 1: a residential camp for students entering grades 7-9 (or campers entering Grade 6 who have attended Engineering Amusement), with tracks available in art, engineering, LEGO EV3 robotics engineering, waterbotics, and wild biology, July 10-15 at NIU’s Lorado Taft Field Campus
  • Exploring STEM, Week 2: with tracks available in art, coding, engineering, LEGO EV3 robotics space, sci-fi, waterbotics, and wild biology, July 17-22 at NIU’s Lorado Taft Campus
  • Exploring STEM, Week 3: with tracks available in chemistry, green tech, LEGO EV3 robotics space, lightning bolts and magnetic fields, and sci-fi, July 24-29
  • Green Energy: a residential camp for students entering grades 6-8, July 22-26
  • STEM Career Exploration, Week 1: a residential camp for students entering grades 10-12, with tracks available in coding, engineering, health, nanotechnology, science, June 19-24
  • STEM Career Exploration, Week 2: with tracks available in coding, engineering, health, science, and video game design, July 31-August 5
  • STEM with Purpose International Camp: a residential camp for students entering grades 9-12, who attend for between one and four weeks, picking a different track each week, July 10-August 7.
  • STEM Divas: day camp for female students entering grades 2-5, June 27-30
  • STEM Juniors: day camp for students students entering grades 2-5, June 27-30

summer-camp-exploring

Sports

For information on all athletic camps, visit niuhuskies.com/camps.

  • Baseball: a residential camp for students age 6-12, with two sessions: June 13-16, June 20-23
  • Basketball (men): a residential camp for students age 6-12, June 13-16
  • Basketball (women): a residential camp for students age 6-12, June 20-21
  • Football: a residential camp for students entering grades 9-11 (ages 14-18), June 4-18
  • Soccer (co-ed): a day camp for students age 6-10, June 13-16
  • Soccer (women’s youth): a residential camp for students entering grades 6-9 (age 12-15), July 11-13
  • Soccer (women’s elite prospect): a residential camp for students grade 10 and up (age 16 and up), July 11-14
  • Soccer (men’s elite prospect): a residential camp for students entering grades 9-12 (age 14 and up), July 22-24
  • Volleyball: a residential camp for students entering grades 6-12, with two sessions: June 8-15, July 10-16
  • Wrestling: a residential camp for students entering grades 5-12, June 25-28
  • Sports Medicine: a residential camp for students entering grades 9-12, July 10-13

 video-gameVideo Game Design

Visual and Performing Arts

  • Jazz: a residential camp for students grades 8-12 (grade completion), July 10-15
  • Theatre Arts (junior): a residential camp for students grades 6-9 (grade completion), July 10-15
  • Theatre Arts (senior): a residential camp for students grades 10-12 (grade completion), July 17-22
  • Visual Arts: a residential camp for students grades 8-12 (grade completion), July 17-22

Health and Human Sciences

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