Summer Camp

Sciencenter Summer Camp

Want to provide your kids with a fun, exciting and science-filled summer? Sciencenter Summer Camp combines fun and games with exciting, hands-on science activities, experiments, field trips, visits from special presenters, and museum exploration. Camp days begin and end at the Sciencenter, and include trips on foot to offsite venues. Our small camp size per session and a low camper-to-staff ratio allows your camper to participate in high-quality programming and develop personal relationships with the staff.

Sciencenter Summer Camp is open to children entering kindergarten through grade 6 in the fall. Science experience is not required – a full variety of topics and activities will appeal to all levels of science knowledge. Each session accepts up to a maximum of 24 campers.

Science enthusiasts entering grades 7 – 9 are invited to apply for intern positions in the Future Science Leaders Counselor-in-Training+ Program. See Camp Programs for more information and application.

Sample Summer Camp Programs

2018 Summer Camp program themes coming soon!

Itty Bitty Scientists

In this special session only for children entering kindergarten through 1st grade, campers will focus on general science processes and classic Sciencenter experiments geared toward a younger audience. Activities include building boats, mixing slime, and launching rockets.

Explore! Mission to Mars

3…2…1…Liftoff! In this session, campers discover what it takes to put humans on Mars! Explore astronomy, geology, and biology as you and your fellow campers prepare for a voyage to the Red Planet. Activities include building rockets, designing a Martian habitat, and using robotic “rovers” to explore uncharted lands.

Build! Circus Engineering

Come one, come all and get ready for a spectacular summer of engineering challenges! Campers will explore the physics of balance, strength, and more to design their own big top circus show! Activities include designing roller coasters, creating a light show, and building whipped cream catapults.

Investigate! Forensics

Whodunnit? Campers will solve a Sciencenter mystery by analyzing physical evidence from the scene of a crime! Campers will experiment with chemistry and anatomy to find the truth and close the case. Activities include extracting DNA, using microscopes, and building a miniature getaway car.


Science enthusiasts entering grades 7 – 9 are invited to apply for the Future Science Leaders Counselor-in-Training+ (FSL CIT+) program. Participants will spend a portion of each day as a CIT alongside our Young Scientist or Itty Bitty summer campers assisting camp staff, leading hands-on science activities, and providing companionship and care for campers. In addition, FSL CITs will be given leadership roles delivering museum programming, developing digital media pieces about camp activities, participating in scientific research projects, and the options to design new science mini-golf holes or engage with our water and land animals here in the museum.

2018 Session Dates

  • Session A: June 25th – July 6th (Note the program does not run on July 4th)
  • Session B: July 9th – July 20th
  • Session C: July 23rd – August 3rd
  • Session D: August 6th – August 17th
  • Session E: August 20th – August 31st

Program hours for FSL CIT+ participants are 8 am – 3:30 pm.

FSL CIT+ participants must be able to commit to a full two-week session.

The FSL CIT+ application opens on February 10th. Join us on February 10th from 2 – 3 pm to learn more about the FSL CIT+ program and to pick up an application.

Early Bird Applications are due by March 2, 2018
Regular Applications will be accepted March 3 – June 22.

Early Bird Applicants: $400*
Regular Applicants: $450*

*Program cost will be pro-rated for Session A

Sciencenter membership is not required to apply for this program but you must commit to having a current membership by June 1 that expires after September 30, 2018 if accepted.

Financial assistance
To qualify for a scholarship you must be a MAP Member. Details about MAP Membership can be found here. Please indicate if you need financial assistance on your application.

For more information about the FSL CIT+ program, contact Lauren Van Derzee at (607) 272-0600 ×148 or email

CIT+ participants are eligible to be a part of the Sciencenter’s Future Science Leaders program.


Online registration is the most effective way to secure your place in camp. Online registration requires payment in full by credit card. The Sciencenter cannot guarantee spaces in camp prior to completed registration.

In order to qualify for special member discounts, your membership must be current at time of registration through September 2017.

If your membership will expire before September, you must renew it before completing your camp registration in order to receive the member rate. When you renew your membership now, your new membership year is activated when your current membership expires. (To purchase or renew a membership, click here or call (607) 272-0600.)

Members Please Note: to receive the member discount on the online registration form, you will need to input your membership ID number and expiration date. This information can be found on the front of your membership card.

No refunds will be given for memberships purchased after camp registration is completed.

Membership benefits are not transferable, and membership discounts for camp cannot be used to register extended family members.

Scholarship Opportunity Guidelines

  • To qualify for a scholarship you must be a MAP Member. Details about MAP Membership can be found here.
  • If camper is awarded a scholarship, it can be used for a single camp session
  • Number of scholarships awarded is limited
  • Scholarship applicants must register in person at the Sciencenter

For questions about scholarships, please contact Bethany Resnick at (607) 272-0600 ×120 or email

Camp fees will only be refunded if camper is withdrawn before June 1, 2017.

A $30 processing fee will be charged for all refunds. No refunds will be given after June 1.

In order to withdraw your camper, you must send an email to by June 1.

A Typical Day at Camp

It’s loud, messy, fast-moving and full of fun! A typical day involves both indoor and outdoor hands-on activities, games, challenges, experiments, field trips, and special presentations.

Camp Hands-on
Hands-on Activities

Making slime, launching rockets, and dropping eggs is all in a day’s work. We’ll play games and experiment indoors and outdoors every day (weather permitting).

Museum Exploration
Museum Exploration

Camp days begin and end at the Sciencenter, and include museum exploration and so much more. Your child will interact with other kids and Sciencenter staff in our friendly camp community. We plan an assortment of active, physical games, focused science experiences, special presentations, and free exploration of the museum and the science playground.

Field Trips
Field Trips

Every week there are field trips designed to engage and delight children entering kindergarten through grade 6 in the fall. Each session includes a walking field trip to a venue within one mile of the Sciencenter, such as Stewart Park, Cascadilla Gorge, and the Farmer’s Market Pavilion. We follow safe pedestrian rules and stop for water breaks as we travel on foot. We are happy to make reasonable accommodations for campers with physical limitations.

Special Presentations
Special Presentations

Guest presenters are scientists and experts in their fields who offer fun hands-on demonstrations on topics varying from amphibians to paper-making to robots!

Camp hours are 8:30 am – 3:30 pm Monday through Friday. Drop-off time is between 8:30 am and 9:00 am each day in our Community Room. We will begin camp activities or field trips at 9:00 am. Camper pick up is at 3:30 pm.

The Sciencenter provides a mid-morning snack each day. Campers need to bring a lunch from home that does not need to be heated or refrigerated. Depending on each day’s weather and activities, we may eat in the classroom, the Science Playground, or at a field trip site.

After-camp care is available 3:30–5:00 pm, at an additional cost of $45 per week. After-camp care requires pre-registration.


For more information, email or call (607) 272-0600.


Find us

Sciencenter 601 1st Street Ithaca, NY 14850
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Contact us

Museum & Store Hours

  • Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm*
  • Sunday, 12 pm - 5 pm
  • *Open holiday Mondays and Mondays in July and August, 10 am - 5 pm

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