Virtual Science Summer Camp

For aspiring young scientists ages 11 – 14.

The Forsyth Institute Junior Student Scholars Virtual Science Summer Camp exposes middle-school students to the exciting and rewarding world of scientific research.

Topics covered in the Virtual Camp include:

Oral Health
Microbiology
Immunology
Teeth and Bones
Public Health

More Information:

Modeled after the Forsyth Student Scholars Summer Internship Program for high school students interested in science careers, the 5-day Virtual Science Camp introduces campers to the oral health research-focused science in which Forsyth scientists specialize—microbiology, immunology, mineralized hard tissue biology, public health, and oral health.

Campers will focus on one specialty area each day with the 5th day demonstrating how all disciplines can work together on a common issue.

Each session will consist of group discussions, lectures, lab tours, career talks, and live demonstrations.

Campers will be given at-home experiments or activities to perform after the daily online session is completed, and they will report on their findings in an online journal and at the start of the next day’s session.

All activities during the online portion will be live to allow for maximum interaction with the campers. To ensure that all campers have the materials they need for the at-home activities, a supply kit will be mailed prior to the start of the camp with a welcome letter and instructions for the campers.


Highlights of the program include:

  • 1-week virtual summer science camp conducted through Zoom and Google Classroom
  • Sessions start July 13, 2020 (3 sessions: 7/13-17, 7/20-24, 7/27-31)
  • Learning from world-renowned Forsyth scientists
  • Daily hands-on (safe!) experiments to do at home (supply kits mailed home)
  • Group discussions
  • Lab tours
  • Career chats
  • Live demonstrations
  • Campers will receive a certificate of completion
  • Membership in the Student Scholars Alumni Group

Camper requirements:

  • Currently in Middle School (11-14 years old)
  • Interest in STEM, science, research, or oral health
  • Fully available for all 5 days of the week registered with access to an internet-enabled device (computer, tablet, smart phone) from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Cost:

  • $300 per student
  • No refunds given after child starts participating in first session.

Sessions:

  • Session 1: July 13 – July 17, 2020
  • Session 2: July 20 – July 24, 2020
  • Session 3: July 27 – July 31, 2020

Sample Schedule

09:30 am Check in + discuss plan for the day (+ recap of previous day)
10:00 amLecture – topic changes daily
10:30 amLab tour and/or career chat
10:50 amBreak
11:00 amSmall group activity
11:30 amExperiment/lecture and/or career chat
12:15 pmRecap & discussion + wrap up
12:30 pmEnd of day

For more information, please contact: StudentScholars@forsyth.org


Meet Our Virtual Science Camp Directors:

Dr. Megan Pugach-Gordon is a faculty researcher and the Director of Forsyth Student Scholars Program, a STEM summer internship program that allows local high school students to work with scientist mentors on independent laboratory research projects. After completing her undergraduate training at Washington University, Dr. Pugach-Gordon attended University of California, San Francisco for her PhD. After her postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania, she moved to Forsyth as assistant faculty in 2013, where she performs her research, mentors young scientists and exposes the next generation of scientists to laboratory research.

Dr. Raffi Miller is a pediatric dentist and the Director of ForsythKids, the mobile dental program of The Forsyth Institute, providing care to 3,000 underserved children throughout Massachusetts. After completing his undergraduate training at Harvard University, Dr. Miller attend Boston University for his dental school and pediatric residency training. After graduating, he returned to Boston University as an assistant professor, providing classroom and clinical training to dental students and residents and serving as a mentor to dozens of students performing public health research. He has a strong passion for public health and educating children on the importance of good oral health.


** IMPORTANT FOR REGISTRATION **

In order to register for this Virtual Camp, you must agree to the following terms:

Media Consent

I give permission for The Forsyth Institute to record my child’s video and audio during his/her participation in the Forsyth Junior Student Scholars Virtual Summer Science Camp. I acknowledge that The Forsyth Institute can use this recording for program evaluation, training, education, and advertising purposes and my child and I are not entitled to any compensation from his/her likeness used for these purposes.

Acknowledge Access to Technology

I acknowledge that my child has access to reliable internet access and an electronic device that has the capability to use Zoom with video and audio communication.

Nonrefundable Tuition

I acknowledge that tuition for the Forsyth Junior Student Scholars Virtual Summer Science Camp is non-refundable once my child begins the first camp session. Any requests for refunds must be made by email to studentscholars@forsyth.org at least 5 business days before the start of my child’s first camp session.


Is the Camp a live-video stream or is it pre-recorded?

The camp will be composed of live videos to allow campers to interact with presenters. Small portions of lab demonstrations may be pre-recorded to allow for optimum presentation of the equipment and lab techniques.

What is the appropriate amount of time, per age, a camper will sit in front of a screen and remain fully engaged?

Campers will be asked to be in front of their screen for two 1.5-hour sessions per day with a 10-minute break between sessions. There will also be assignments to be completed after the sessions that will require additional screen time.

How long is a camp session? How many camp sessions are in a camp week?

Camp sessions are approximately 3 hours each day for 5 consecutive days. You can see the sample schedule above.

Do campers do the same activity everyday?

Campers follow a similar pattern of activities each day, but they are presented with different topics for each session. There may be different activities depending on what fits best with the topic.

How will families access the username and log-in information to access the live video presentation?

All virtual activities will be conducted through Zoom. We will send a meeting number and password with registration confirmation a few days before the start of camp.

Is the video platform secure?

We will be using Zoom as the live-video platform and ensuring security through password protection. We are asking all campers to not share the password to keep unwanted visitors out of the Zoom meeting. All camp sessions will be recorded for counselor evaluation and may be shared through other departments at The Forsyth Institute. While we will try to minimize the appearance of campers in any recordings, the voice or questions raised by campers may be in recordings that are re-aired or made available to other students online.

To protect campers’ privacy, we will follow the Zoom for K-12 Schools & Districts Privacy Policy (https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/childrens-privacy.html).

How many counselors will be present during each session? What is the role of each counselor?

There will be 2 camp directors present continuously to guide campers through the day and supervise any group activities. Each part of the session will also have a presenter who will act as the counselor for their presentation.

How does the parent get to meet the camper’s counselor?

Information on the camp directors is available on the camp website. Information about our counselors will be sent to parents via email before the camp starts. All counselors are scientists or clinicians at The Forsyth Institute and are experienced in the field they are presenting.

Do all camp activities occur during the camp session or are campers encouraged (or “required”) to continue working on a project in between sessions?

There will be short group activities during each session, but we are expecting that campers will continue their learning after the virtual session by completing a small experiment or activity at home to report on the following day. Each activity should not take more than 1-2 hours and will only require materials found in most homes. Campers will also receive a welcome package with any non-perishable materials that may not be found at home for the offline activities.

Do campers need to use a keyboard and/or mouse OR can campers watch the screen and follow along without them?

Most activities can be done by watching the screen, but there will be some participation that will require campers to use a keyboard and mouse. Campers are asked to record findings from offline activities in an online lab book which will require the use of a keyboard and mouse.

Will campers participate in any activities that could potentially damage a computer or its components (e.g. painting, water, etc.)?

Offline activities may require use of liquids, but these activities should be performed in an area that can safely get wet and is away from electronic devices.

What type of technology will families need to access the virtual camp platform? Will a smartphone, tablet, PC, Mac, Chromebook work?

Campers will need to use Zoom and Google Apps during the camp. These can be accessed on whatever device is best for each camper to use, as long as the device has video and microphone capabilities (built in or through attached devices).

Will campers need headphones, webcam, or microphone? Will campers need any household items or supplies to participate in the camp?

Campers will be required to have video and audio capabilities during the camp, either through their electronic device or an attached device. Offline activities will require the use of some household items, and campers will receive a list of these items prior to each session. Campers will receive a package with any items not necessarily found in all homes to complete the offline activities.

Will campers receive a kit of materials to use during the camp session(s)? If so, when and how will it arrive? What is in the kit? What if the kit doesn’t arrive by the time the camp starts?

Campers will receive a kit with some of the materials they will need to complete the offline activities (and some Forsyth swag!) by mail the week before their camp starts. If supplies are not received by the Wednesday before the camp is set to start, contact us at studentscholars@forsyth.org.

How will parents learn how to prepare their camper for the upcoming session or camp day? Is there a listing in the website? Will a pre-camp email be sent?

Parents and campers will receive an email the week before their camp starts with the camp schedule, Zoom login information, Google App information, camp director contact information, and any other information and materials that will be needed in preparation for the virtual camp.

Will parents have to be involved helping campers log on or prepare materials before the camp sessions begin?

Our virtual summer camp is designed to engage campers for the 3-hour sessions without adult supervision to allow parents time to tend to other matters. We encourage parent involvement as needed for offline activities and highly encourage parents to attend a portion of the last day of camp to see their campers present what they learned over the week. Parent involvement is not necessary for any part of the camp as long as campers can log in to the programs on their own.

Will parents have to be present and actively involved during the camp?

We encourage parents to attend a brief presentation by their camper during the last day of the camp, but parents are not expected or required to be present during the camp sessions.

How will our team communicate with parents if a camper is disconnected from the virtual camp or simply decides to walk away from the screen for a long duration of time?

If the camp directors or counselors notice that a camper is not engaged or present for a session, parents will be notified by email (immediately if the camper is absent from camp, at the end of the day if the camper appears disengaged). If there are any internet connection issues, the recordings of the session can be sent to the camper to catch up on missed content, but the camper will miss out on the interactive portion. Unfortunately, we cannot offer any refunds if a camper decides to stop attending the camp after starting the first session.

How will the Virtual Camp team communicate with parents if a camper is upset, falls down, or becomes injured in any way during the session?

Since this is a virtual camp, we do not anticipate any injuries. This includes the offline activities – they have all been designed to be performed safely and with little to no parental supervision. If we notice a camper becoming upset, a camp director will separate that camper virtually to discuss the issue and communicate with the parent if there are any issues that cannot be resolved.