ACADEMIES
FOR YOUNG
MINDS

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Summer Camps in 2020 for Elementary, Middle, and High School Students

We anticipate these camps being available in the Summer of 2020:

Sign up for our mailing list now so you will be notified as soon as registration for the camps opens in early February 2020.

Academies for Young Minds

Academies for Young Minds camps encourage children to be innovative and use creative problem-solving by engaging them in fun, hands-on activities.

Multiple camps are planned for the summer of 2020 — both full-day and half-day in duration. For half-day camps, students can choose to attend either a morning or afternoon session or two different camps on the same day.

Please be sure to check the grade levels associated with each camp, since not all camps are available for all grade levels.

Please be sure to read the General Information section at the bottom of this page.

Summer 2020 Camps

Registration for Academies for Young Minds Summer Camps is open now!

Uplifting Science!     Grades in Fall 2020

When: June 1-4, 2020 (Monday - Thursday) • 9:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 20

Fee: $190.00

Instructor: Brian Hostetler Learn more...

Brian has more than 20 years experience leading camps and other science based programs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the St. Louis Science Center and the University of Missouri Before and After School Programs. He has been a guest many times on local news outlets teaching anchors about some of the wonderful and weird things science can show you every day. He is currently working in the Cherry Creek School District teaching science and classroom teaching around the area. He holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Missouri. He's crazy excited to learn and explore with your kiddos this summer!

Come fly with us as you develop and test your own machines that "fall with style!". Try making your own hot air balloons, paper airplanes, parachutes, and more!

Flight School     Grades in Fall 2020

When: June 1-4, 2020 (Monday - Thursday) • 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 20

Fee: $190.00

Instructor: Brian Hostetler Learn more...

Brian has more than 20 years experience leading camps and other science based programs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the St. Louis Science Center and the University of Missouri Before and After School Programs. He has been a guest many times on local news outlets teaching anchors about some of the wonderful and weird things science can show you every day. He is currently working in the Cherry Creek School District teaching science and classroom teaching around the area. He holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Missouri. He's crazy excited to learn and explore with your kiddos this summer!

Time to get serious with unpowered flight from gliders and parachutes to lighter than air crafts. See and experience the science that makes things fly!

Engineering Mayhem     Grades in Fall 2020

When: June 1-5, 2020 (Monday - Friday) • 9:00am - 4:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 15

Fee: $450.00

Instructor: Trey Corkern, EcoAdventures Learn more...

Trey Corkern has been teaching history for 15 years. He has been a park ranger in North Dakota, a backpacking guide in New Mexico, a historic farmer in Colorado, and a museum curator in Wyoming. He is passionate about sharing his love of history with others.

How hard is it to break down a castle wall? Make and fire catapults (used by the Romans), a ballista (the dart thrower that brought down Smaug in the Hobbit movie), and trebuchets. Look at the ancient designers (like Leonardo da Vinci) who decided to build a better siege weapon then test your creations against class-mates in a pitched marshmallow battle! Every day will feature make and take-home crafts, including functioning mini-catapults and ballistas.

Native American Life Among the Bison     Grades in Fall 2020

When: June 1-5, 2020 (Monday - Friday) • 9:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 15

Fee: $225.00

Instructor: Pam Batton, EcoAdventures Learn more...

Pam Batton is an interpretive educator with more than a decade of experience in biology and cultural history. She founded EcoAdventures in 1994, her fulfillment of her dream to connect people and nature in an unforgettable learning environment. It began with kindergarten and CSM teacher recertification courses. During the school year she's busy as an outreach program specialist to school districts around the state. Summer provides a wonderful opportunity for her to create unique summer camp programs that are unforgettable in depth and hands-on adventures. Pam has worked for nature centers, Jefferson County Open Space, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Division of Wildlife, and Colorado State Parks.

Native American people of the plains knew everything about bison, and after this camp you will too! Explore how the bison provided shelter, food, warmth, and more. Learning about the bison's biology is like a trip to the grocery store, every part was useful. Try out Native American bison skills as you make items of your own to keep. Make a rawhide box, a leather pouch, a bone awl, and something from horn. Enjoy your Native craft in the shade of the tipi you learn to set up.

Rocky Mountain Geology     Grades

When: June 8-9, 2020 (Monday - Tuesday) • 9:00am - 4:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 20

Fee: $175.00

Instructor: Dr. Robert Knecht, Colorado School of MinesLearn more...

Dr. Robert Knecht, CSM Emeritus Professor of Engineering Design, focuses his academic time on developing curricula for STEM/STEAM programs. Although his activities emphasize advising and coaching teachers and mentors, he brings his passion for teaching to his summer camps in the greater Denver area. He served for several years as Director for Design (EPICS), where he developed the project-based engineering design curriculum incorporating projects from industry. His experience as an engineer and designer for various engineering companies created the opportunity to hone his knowledge of the engineering design process, computational modeling, and economic evaluation.

Explore the history and formation of the Rocky Mountains along the front-range. Using hands-on activities create a visual map of the geologic history of the area, explore how mountains formed, and look at the return of mammals after the mass dinosaur extinction. A trip to the Geology Museum provides a glance at the minerals located in the region, and view dinosaur tracks on a walk along Triceratops Trail (weather permitting).

Busy Like a Bee     Grades in Fall 2020

When: June 8-12, 2020 (Monday - Friday) • 9:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 15

Fee: $225.00

Instructor: Pam Batton, EcoAdventures Learn more...

Pam Batton is an interpretive educator with more than a decade of experience in biology and cultural history. She founded EcoAdventures in 1994, her fulfillment of her dream to connect people and nature in an unforgettable learning environment. It began with kindergarten and CSM teacher recertification courses. During the school year she's busy as an outreach program specialist to school districts around the state. Summer provides a wonderful opportunity for her to create unique summer camp programs that are unforgettable in depth and hands-on adventures. Pam has worked for nature centers, Jefferson County Open Space, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Division of Wildlife, and Colorado State Parks.

Are you busy like a bee? Look at the lives of honey bees as you observe bees in a real hive. Become a bee for a day and live inside a kid-sized hive with honeycomb, and crawl through a giant flower as you become a pollinator. Learn how bees dance to find flowers rich in nectar. We'll find out if your dance has enough information for you to find a hidden tasty treat. Become a mini beekeeper as you try on a beekeepers suit, put together a real hive, and use some of a beekeeper's tools. Learn about pollination issues and how you can easily help. Make candles and other bee related products to take home.

Biology Everywhere: Where to Find the Science of Life     Grades in Fall 2020

When: June 8-11, 2020 (Monday - Thursday) • 9:00am - 4:00pm

(Camp also offered in July; see below)

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 20

Fee: $360.00

Instructor: Dr. Melanie Peffer Learn more...

Melanie Peffer has her PhD in molecular biology and has spent the last seven years studying how people learn and understand biology. She is passionate about getting others excited about biology and seeing the relevance of biology in their daily lives. Melanie is the author of Biology Everywhere: How the Science of Life Matters to Everyday Life and numerous research articles and essays on biology education topics, including how to promote positive attitudes towards biology and science among students. She has taught biology to all ages, from first grade to senior citizens and particularly likes working with kids in camp settings. Melanie enjoys playing her flute, quilting, and playing with her two-year-old son.

Learn all of the ways you experience biology in your everyday life! Discover what biology and science are, why most life requires the sun and how energy is shared among all life forms, learn to identify the diversity of life in your backyard, the art of biology, and genetics. We will ask big biological questions in today's society such as conservation and ethics regarding the use of certain genetic technologies, such as bringing extinct animals like mammoths back to life.

Rocking Robot Vehicle     Grades

When: June 10-11, 2020 (Wednesday - Thursday) • 9:00am - 4:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 20

Fee: $175.00

Instructor: Dr. Robert Knecht, Colorado School of MinesLearn more...

Dr. Robert Knecht, CSM Emeritus Professor of Engineering Design, focuses his academic time on developing curricula for STEM/STEAM programs. Although his activities emphasize advising and coaching teachers and mentors, he brings his passion for teaching to his summer camps in the greater Denver area. He served for several years as Director for Design (EPICS), where he developed the project-based engineering design curriculum incorporating projects from industry. His experience as an engineer and designer for various engineering companies created the opportunity to hone his knowledge of the engineering design process, computational modeling, and economic evaluation.

Have you ever wanted to build a working robot? Come to this beginner camp to do just that! If you build a robot you have nothing more than a sculpture, but if you make it perform a function, you create a working robot capable of performing a series of fun-filled challenges. Work in teams to successfully avoid objects to achieve recognitions as a master Lego operator.

Science the Rainbow     Grades in Fall 2020

When: June 15-18, 2020 (Monday - Thursday) • 9:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 20

Fee: $190.00

Instructor: Brian Hostetler Learn more...

Brian has more than 20 years experience leading camps and other science based programs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the St. Louis Science Center and the University of Missouri Before and After School Programs. He has been a guest many times on local news outlets teaching anchors about some of the wonderful and weird things science can show you every day. He is currently working in the Cherry Creek School District teaching science and classroom teaching around the area. He holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Missouri. He's crazy excited to learn and explore with your kiddos this summer!

Explore all sides of the color wheel as you create your own colors with science! Create colors with light, dye your own t-shirt, discover mystery liquids, and more!

It's Electric     Grades in Fall 2020

When: June 15-18, 2020 (Monday - Thursday) • 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 20

Fee: $190.00

Instructor: Brian Hostetler Learn more...

Brian has more than 20 years experience leading camps and other science based programs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the St. Louis Science Center and the University of Missouri Before and After School Programs. He has been a guest many times on local news outlets teaching anchors about some of the wonderful and weird things science can show you every day. He is currently working in the Cherry Creek School District teaching science and classroom teaching around the area. He holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Missouri. He's crazy excited to learn and explore with your kiddos this summer!

Get your little electrons moving as you explore the simple science of electricity! Create dancing cans, light up light bulbs, charge up your neighbor, and draw a circuit.

Curious Chemistry    Grades in Fall 2020

When: June 22-25, 2020 (Monday - Thursday) • 9:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 20

Fee: $190.00

Instructor: Erika RemyLearn more...

Erika Remy studied chemistry at Oberlin College and spent time working at the Museum of Science and Technology in New York teaching school groups about topics from outer space to the dinosaurs. She is currently working on water electrolysis for hydrogen production. She enjoys sharing the fun of learning about our world through science, and loves to find silly experiments to try.

Welcome to the colorful, crazy world of chemistry! Find out how things can change color, speed up, slow down, and what makes things slimy, sticky or sour. Learn how we can use chemistry to launch rockets with household ingredients. Explore stretchy polymers, slippery bases and even get a chance to see some DNA with experiments that can be repeated at home.

Do You See What I See?     Grades in Fall 2020

When: July 13-16, 2020 (Monday - Thursday) • 9:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 20

Fee: $190.00

Instructor: Brian Hostetler Learn more...

Brian has more than 20 years experience leading camps and other science based programs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the St. Louis Science Center and the University of Missouri Before and After School Programs. He has been a guest many times on local news outlets teaching anchors about some of the wonderful and weird things science can show you every day. He is currently working in the Cherry Creek School District teaching science and classroom teaching around the area. He holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Missouri. He's crazy excited to learn and explore with your kiddos this summer!

Light up your life with a program all about using light and science for evil...ok, maybe not evil, but fun! Bouncing lasers, colored lights, and glow in the dark walls abound in this interactive and enlightening camp.

Charged Up!     Grades in Fall 2020

When: July 13-16, 2020 (Monday - Thursday) • 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 20

Fee: $190.00

Instructor: Brian Hostetler Learn more...

Brian has more than 20 years experience leading camps and other science based programs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the St. Louis Science Center and the University of Missouri Before and After School Programs. He has been a guest many times on local news outlets teaching anchors about some of the wonderful and weird things science can show you every day. He is currently working in the Cherry Creek School District teaching science and classroom teaching around the area. He holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Missouri. He's crazy excited to learn and explore with your kiddos this summer!

Time to build with big circuits and energy from renewable and non-renewable sources. Build your own solar panels, play with electrostatics, and light up the room...off the grid of course!

Biology Everywhere: Where to Find the Science of Life     Grades in Fall 2020

When: July 20-23, 2020 (Monday - Thursday) • 9:00am - 4:00pm

(Camp also offered in June; see above)

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 20

Fee: $360.00

Instructor: Dr. Melanie Peffer Learn more...

Melanie Peffer has her PhD in molecular biology and has spent the last seven years studying how people learn and understand biology. She is passionate about getting others excited about biology and seeing the relevance of biology in their daily lives. Melanie is the author of Biology Everywhere: How the Science of Life Matters to Everyday Life and numerous research articles and essays on biology education topics, including how to promote positive attitudes towards biology and science among students. She has taught biology to all ages, from first grade to senior citizens and particularly likes working with kids in camp settings. Melanie enjoys playing her flute, quilting, and playing with her two-year-old son.

Where have you experienced biology today? Come explore the science of life and create art with bacteria, learn about the fascinating animals in your backyard, and experience biology in a new light.

Survival Academy     Grades in Fall 2020

When: July 27-31, 2020 (Monday - Friday) • 9:00am - 4:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Prospect Park • Wheat Ridge, Colorado (on July 30th)

Maximum students: 15

Fee: $425.00

Instructor: Trey Corkern, EcoAdventures Learn more...

Trey Corkern has been teaching history for 15 years. He has been a park ranger in North Dakota, a backpacking guide in New Mexico, a historic farmer in Colorado, and a museum curator in Wyoming. He is passionate about sharing his love of history with others.

Are you fascinated by the daring exploits of survival experts on TV? You will learn and practice skills that will help you thrive in the wild and in the city. Build a fire without matches, make shelters to protect yourself from savage Colorado weather, learn the science of making water drinkable, forage for wild edibles, and more.

Raptors: The Winged Predators     Grades in Fall 2020

When: July 27-31, 2020 (Monday - Friday) • 9:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 15

Fee: $225.00

Instructor: Pam Batton, EcoAdventures Learn more...

Pam Batton is an interpretive educator with more than a decade of experience in biology and cultural history. She founded EcoAdventures in 1994, her fulfillment of her dream to connect people and nature in an unforgettable learning environment. It began with kindergarten and CSM teacher recertification courses. During the school year she's busy as an outreach program specialist to school districts around the state. Summer provides a wonderful opportunity for her to create unique summer camp programs that are unforgettable in depth and hands-on adventures. Pam has worked for nature centers, Jefferson County Open Space, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Division of Wildlife, and Colorado State Parks.

Come and explore the lives and behaviors of hawks and owls. Discover their aerodynamics as you build a soaring raptor from real feathers. Try out different talons to find the best match for catching your prey. Build a talon prototype to perfect your grabbing ability. Learn about acoustic maps, telescopic eyes and the use of UV light to age feathers. Practice identification of Colorado's raptors in class and in the field as we hike near campus.

Natural Disasters - Science that Explodes, Burns and Destroys     Grades in Fall 2020

When: August 3-7, 2020 (Monday - Friday) • 9:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

South Platte Park/Carson Nature Center • Littleton, Colorado (August 6th)*

Maximum students: 15

Fee: $225.00

Instructor: Pam Batton, EcoAdventures Learn more...

Pam Batton is an interpretive educator with more than a decade of experience in biology and cultural history. She founded EcoAdventures in 1994, her fulfillment of her dream to connect people and nature in an unforgettable learning environment. It began with kindergarten and CSM teacher recertification courses. During the school year she's busy as an outreach program specialist to school districts around the state. Summer provides a wonderful opportunity for her to create unique summer camp programs that are unforgettable in depth and hands-on adventures. Pam has worked for nature centers, Jefferson County Open Space, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Division of Wildlife, and Colorado State Parks.

Change on earth can be violent and amazing. Explore creation by volcano; destruction by earthquakes; habitat change by wildfire; and the power of tornados and floods. Build simulations and create your own natural disasters! You'll learn how these natural events work and how they change the earth.

* Participants must provide their own transportation back to Mines campus if attending a camp in the afternoon.

Crash! The Basics of Aeronautical Engineering     Grades in Fall 2020

When: August 3-7, 2020 (Monday - Friday) • 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 15

Fee: $225.00

Instructor: Trey Corkern, EcoAdventures Learn more...

Trey Corkern has been teaching history for 15 years. He has been a park ranger in North Dakota, a backpacking guide in New Mexico, a historic farmer in Colorado, and a museum curator in Wyoming. He is passionate about sharing his love of history with others.

Unlock the mysteries of flight by creating and testing various planes, hovercraft, gliders, and rockets. After we build them, we will fly them, crash them, redesign them, rebuild them, and fly them again! Bring your sense of humor, a dash of patience, and a heap of grit as we discover how aeronautical engineering works.

The Science of Spies     Grades in Fall 2020

When: August 10-14, 2020 (Monday - Friday) • 9:00am - 4:00pm

Where: Colorado School of Mines campus • Golden, Colorado

Maximum students: 15

Fee: $425.00

Instructor: Trey Corkern, EcoAdventures Learn more...

Trey Corkern has been teaching history for 15 years. He has been a park ranger in North Dakota, a backpacking guide in New Mexico, a historic farmer in Colorado, and a museum curator in Wyoming. He is passionate about sharing his love of history with others.

Enter a world of shadows, secrets, and spies. Use science to gather and hide information from prying and unfriendly eyes. Learn how to make invisible ink, build a hidden compartment, practice counter-surveillance, and break codes. Grab your trench coat, and get ready. Further instructions to follow…

Registration for the Summer 2020 camps

The following registration options are available:

Click this button to register for any of the camps.

General Information

For those who attend a morning session and an afternoon session on the same day, a supervised lunch hour (12:00pm until 1:00pm) is provided; however, students must bring their own sack lunch.

Camp participants must be picked up no later than 15 minutes after the end of the last session for which they are enrolled on each day of the camp. Late pickups will result in a charge of $20.00 for each occurrence.

Prerequisites and Restrictions

To participate in the summer 2020 camps, students must be entering the grades indicated for each camp in the fall of 2020.

Lodging and accommodations

On-campus lodging is not available. Click here for a list of accommodations in the area.