By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
The schedules are out, SCORE T-shirts in the closets and a lot of anticipation in the air as the Imperial Grade School Foundation sponsors its every-other-year science camps next week.
SCORE stands for Science Camps Offer Rewarding Experiences, and that’s what the youths will be getting next week from 16 guest out-of-town presenters and an additional 12 instructors from the Imperial area.
A total of 333 students in grades 1-6 will be in and around Imperial Monday through Friday next week for science camp sessions around the theme, “It’s Alive!”
In addition, a group of 25 first through sixth graders from Franklin, Neb., will be at the camps Monday only, as those students are bussed here for the day.
Sessions will address the life sciences this year, Smith noted, and there will be a lot of live animals and hands-on learning at the sessions.
Some of the camp sessions are titled, “Tiny Trotters,” “Into the Lungs,” “Grossology—Oh, Yuck, Science,” “Insect Investigation,” “Bait, Cast and Catch,” “Bones and Skulls” and more.
Camp Director Marla Smith of Imperial said this year’s attendance breaks all records of the previous SCORE camps.
The highest SCORE attendance before was 298 students, but that also included 25 students in a separate seventh-eighth grade camp.
There is no grade 7-8 camp this year, so in comparison, this year’s fulltime attendance breaks the record by 60 campers.
Smith isn’t quite sure why.
“With the economy and everything, we thought if we get 250 (campers), that’d be great,” Smith said.
However, a few weeks ago, it became apparent that numbers were growing beyond that.
“We’ve had to reorder stuff two and three times,” Smith said.
She believes one reason for the huge increase is the willingness of the local newspaper and others to publish more stories about the upcoming camps in Imperial.
She also said schools in some communities are looking for such learning opportunities for kids. Some have High Ability Learners (HAL) funds available, too, to help students attend.
Registrations had to be closed on Monday in order for the individual student groups moving from session to session to remain small and workable.
“We could have had more, but just had to shut it off,” Smith said this week.
The grade 3-4 camp is the largest with 123 students registered. The grade 1-2 camp has 119 while another 91 are registered for the grade 5-6 camp.
Residents of the area have the chance to take in several special presentations during SCORE camp next week, with three open sessions on Monday and another Wednesday night.
Monday’s all will be in the school auditorium, with an outdoors presentation Wednesday night at the football/track/pool complex on East 9th Street.
For those who want to purchase a meal before Wednesday’s science show, that starts at 6 p.m.
After Wednesday’s evening science show, the city of Imperial is providing free swimming until 9 p.m. for SCORE campers wearing their SCORE wrist band, Smith said.
Open sessions for public
Monday, June 15
8 to 8:30 a.m. and 1 to 1:30 p.m.—“Best of Edgerton,” featuring presenters from the Edgerton Explorit Center, Aurora, Neb., CCS auditorium.
8:30 to 9 a.m. and 1:30 to 2 p.m.—“Nebraska Amphibians and Reptiles,” by Dr. Dennis Ferraro, herpetologist from UNL, CCS auditorium.
4 to 4:30 p.m.— “Animal Attractions,” Khoreen and Paul White, who work with exotic animals, CCS auditorium.
Wednesday, June 17
6:30 p.m.—SCORE science show at the football field/track complex, East 9th St. Several SCORE presenters will give science demonstrations and have native and exotic animals on site. Attendees can sit in the bleachers.
Meal available for purchase there at 6 p.m.