Nature’s Navigators STEM Camp Schedule

The Nature’s Navigators STEM Camp will be held August 21–25, 2024.


August 21: Becoming a Citizen Scientist

Check in 9:30–10 a.m., check out 3–3:30 p.m.

Campers will learn the basics of climate citizen science during a walking tour of Upham Woods, learning how to measure air temperature, surface temperature, relative humidity, cloud cover, solar radiation, and surface reflectivity. Campers will apply these tools to compare contrasting ecosystems at Upham Woods. Additional fun activities will include icebreaker bingo and exploding soda and Mentos.

August 22: Journey to the Center of the Earth

Check in 9:30–10 a.m., check out 3–3:30 p.m.

Campers will paddle a barge to the beautiful Blackhawk Island, where they will use augers to collect soil profiles for examining sand-silt-clay composition, soil profiles and horizons, soil temperature, and the presence of carbonates. Campers will map out surface temperatures using a remote-controlled TerraRover to explore greenspaces and urban heat island. Additional fun activities will include baking soda volcanoes and gem and fossil dig kits.

August 23: Exploring the Trees and Water Bodies of Upham Woods

Check in 9:30–10 a.m., check out 3–3:30 p.m.

Campers will paddle a barge to Blackhawk Island, where they will explore the characteristics of different ecosystems by measuring tree circumferences, tree heights using homemade clinometers, canopy cover using homemade densiometers, and tree types using tree identification guides. For Wacky Water Critters, campers will measure water quality, transparency, temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, and nitrates in the Wisconsin River and a pond, while examining macroinvertebrates. Campers will participate in a fire seesaw experiment.

August 24-25: Overnight Weekend

Check in 9:30–10 a.m. Saturday, check out 1:15–2 p.m. Sunday

Campers and their adult caregivers will spend the weekend at Upham Woods, sleeping in cabins. During Scales, Scutes, and Skins, campers will be introduced to live reptiles and amphibians. Campers will canoe to Upham Caves for exploration. In the evening, there will be songs, skits, and s’mores at the campfire and a night hike. On the next day, campers will go fishing, learn orienteering, and participate in a photovoice gallery walk of memories from the week.