CT SCIENCE 4 KIDS has been providing programs for children throughout the state for 18 years. Over the years, CT Science 4 Kids has developed programs to meet the needs of diverse communities. Now host to Cosmic Cultures II, CT Science 4 Kids has previously sponsored a variety of school year and summer programs. Some were scheduled strictly during the school year and met after school and weekends, while others have met during the school year and culminate with summer camp/academy component of 5-10 days. Our current program, as well as past programs have partnered with museums, science centers, universities, community groups, and other not-for-profit organizations as a means of capturing students’ innate sense of curiosity to inspire, excite, and activate students toward real-world learning as they DO science. These out-of-school programs, both past and present, are staffed primarily by participating school districts certified teachers and offer students a chance to explore ideas and concepts at their own pace and in a more flexible, relaxed climate that highlights collaboration and creativity. The staff employ culturally responsive teaching strategies to help students develop greater understanding and appreciation of others with diverse backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives.
"Curiosity is the spark behind the spark of every great idea. The future belongs to the curious."
Our past programs included awards from the Connecticut State Department of Education in a highly competitive grant bidding process. Although not all districts participated in all programs, the ten programs which received funds served students in grades three through twelve and enrolled students from Ansonia, Bloomfield, Cheshire, Derby, East Hartford, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, Milford, New Haven, Seymour, Southington, Stratford, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, and Wolcott. A number of these programs offered school vacation and summer camp experiences for participating students. Each program was offered at NO COST to participating school districts or parents.
These programs included:
Ecosystem Exchange and ECO-Saturdays
The Ecosystem Exchange and ECO-Saturday programs are designed for elementary grade levels and focus on children's understanding of ecosystems, plants, animals, and their habitats. Considerable time is spent meeting and making new friends through games, team building activities, and conducting nature studies. Both of these programs are highlighted by trips to nature centers, zoos, and aquarium facilities. Additionally, the Ecosystem Exchange program offers an extensive summer camp at no cost to parents.
Connecticut Kids Fueling the Future
Dynamic Careers in Aquaculture
CAPT-ivating Kids I and II
CAPT-ivating Kids I and II target students in 7th and 8th grade. It focuses on current issues involving science, technology and society. These topics may include stem cell research and genetically engineered foods so that students come to realize the role of science and technology in their lives. Students build a framework for scientific investigations through numerous engaging and enjoyable icebreaker, team challenges, and other activities designed to build friendships and positive interpersonal skills. They learn to work together effectively, communicate, and problem solve as they investigate questions of their own design in a scientific manner. They also learn the fundamentals of forensic science as they are provided crime scene "Who Done It" activities to solve with team members. This program is a school year program with two school vacation mini-camps and a culminating picnic.
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies enrolls students in grades 3-5. It is designed to acquaint students with the concept of Wellness. It demonstrates the interdependencies and interrelationships of culture, proper nutrition, physical fitness, school performance, and psychological well-being as small inter-district teams of students engage in a multi-faceted wellness initiatives centered on healthy choices.
Children in Colonial Connecticut
Children in Colonial Connecticut targets 5th grade students to participate in a program designed to immerse children in colonial Connecticut life. Students explore Connecticut's cultural and historical origins, establish meaningful positive relationships, become cooperative learning partners and complete a sequence of hands-on investigations, project-based exercises, site visits, and task-oriented team challenges centered on the daily lives of children in colonial Connecticut.
Careers in Sports Medicine and Nutrition
This program, designed for high school students, enrolled students from Hartford, Hamden, New Haven, West Haven and Cheshire. It is designed to acquaint students with the career pathways in the rapidly growing and diverse field of Sports Medicine and Nutrition.
Dr. Peter J. Morano, associate professor and athletic training program director at Central Connecticut State University describes the program itinerary for when CSMC visited:
I met with the entire group at 11:00am and discussed the Athletic Training program and Exercise Science Program at CCSU and also discussed other health/medical fields (physical therapy, physician assistant, dietetics, etc). We went over the academic requirements for each of those majors/career choices. After the opening presentation, everyone went to lunch at the new Hilltop Cafe on campus. After lunch, we split the group in 2 and they alternated between 1) a tour of the campus/dorms and 2) a tour of our facilities with demonstration of some Athletic Training and Exercise Science equipment. I had 4 students assist me with the tours and demonstrations. We ended the day with a Q/A.