Elementary Camps (grades 1-6)

For the 25th summer, the Kopernik Observatory & Science Center in Vestal, NY is offering week-long camps for students in grades 1-12.  Sponsored by the Link Foundation, in memory of inventor/explorer Edwin A. Link, the Link Summer STEM Exploration camps offer hands-on, high-tech adventures in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in a fun and nurturing environment.  Camps run Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.to 3 p.m.  Early drop-off and late pick-up options are available. When you find the camp you want, click on the Register for this class link for convenient online registration.


Children work together to become the next generation of scientists, geologist & engineers.

Super Science Explorations (STEM, gr. 1 & 2)
July 10-14 (Session A) or August 7-11 (Session B)
In this introductory camp, children will learn about the habits of a scientist and about different fields of science through a variety of activities! Budding geologists will explore earth science by creating edible rocks and erupting volcanoes. Engineers of tomorrow will design spacecraft, build and launch paper rockets. Young biologists will explore the surrounding flora and fauna as they hike our nature trail. Youthful astronomers will learn to focus a telescope as they look at nearby terrestrial objects. Course Outline


Develop problem solving skills while inventing and building various LEGO projects!

LEGOs: Inventing & Robotics 
(Engineering, gr. 2 & 3)
August 14-18 (session A) or August 21-25 (session B)
Students in this camp will develop engineering skills while spending some time on “unplugged” activities, using LEGO blocks and other materials to solve problems. Students also will use computers and LEGO We Do Robotics kits to build models of people and animals with working motors and sensors. Students will learn how to program their models to make them move and do things. Course Outline

Register for Session A             Register for Session B

Explore the strange worlds of our solar system!

Solar System Travels (Astronomy, grades 3 & 4)
June 26-30 (Session A) or August 7-11 (Session B)
Students will journey through our solar system and learn about the different planets and moons, studying Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and beyond using a variety of activities. They will construct models, analyze rocks and minerals, map a planet’s oceans, invent imaginary sea creatures that could live in those oceans, and drill for layers in a Mars cookie! Students also will interact with NASA scientists via Skype and work with Kopernik’s NASA Solar System Ambassador to design their own solar system project. Course Outline


This mini camp will give students an introduction to Kopernik’s laboratories as they meet new friends.

Lab Rat Buffet (STEM, grades 3 & 4)
July 5-7

Get out the goggles! During this three day camp, students will have the opportunity to spend extended time in Kopernik’s laboratories, delving deeply into topics in a variety of fields, including chemistry, geology, and astronomy.  Each day will focus on a different theme.  Students will be challenged to discover, learn and invent through experimentation and creativity. Course Outline


This two-day class will get you ready for this summer’s spectacular solar eclipse!

Solar Eclipse Workshop(Astronomy, grades 3-5)
July 24 & 25

This two-day workshop will have students learning about the sun and the upcoming solar eclipse. Participants will learn how to safely observe the sun and will build their own special solar viewer. Students will receive valuable solar observing experience, and will be able to show the whole family how to safely experience the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Course Outline


Become one with nature as you explore our natural environment.

Ecology: What’s the Buzz? (Life Sci, gr. 4 & 5)
July 17-21

In this Life Sciences camp, students will explore themes of Ecology. Topics will include life cycles of plants and honeybees, effects of pollution on the environment, recycling and renewable energy. Activities will include guided nature walks in the wooded areas surrounding Kopernik, analysis of food and material waste, art projects, guest speakers, experiments and other activities. Course Outline



Students use interconnected modules to build exciting electrical devices!

Zap, Bang, Beep (Engineering, grades 5 &  6)
July 10-14

Students in this camp will be introduced to littleBit™ modules to create a wide range of electronic and mechanical projects. The innovative littleBits™ system uses interconnected modules which include servos, sensors, LED bar graphs, logic arrays and transducers, allowing the students to combine electronic and mechanical elements to create engaging devices.  At the end of the week the students will design and build a project of their own. Course Outline

                                                     Register for this class 





Explore rocks, minerals and jewelry in this hands-on workshop that has students using art to learn science!

Rocks, Minerals & Gemstones
(Earth Science, grades 5 & 6) 
June 26 – 30
Budding geologists will learn about petrology (the study of rocks) and make jewelry in this art meets science workshop. Students will learn about different rock types and the minerals that compose them. They will use Kopernik’s special polarizing microscope to see how light passes through different kinds of rocks. They also will learn about precious gemstones found in different parts of the world and create their own earrings, necklaces, and ornaments. Students will also observe rocks that fluoresce and will create their own glow-in-the-dark pet rock!  Course Outline

                                          Register for this class
If you prefer to not register online, download and fill out the Registration Form below and send it to Kopernik.


Registration Form Grades 1 – 6

Kopernik offers modest financial assistance to those who demonstrate the need. Please fill out the below form and send in by May 19. 

Financial Aid Form