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History shows that the past can teach us about the present

by explaining who we are today and how we got here.

The ideal is that the lessons of the past will be applied to

present problems to create a more positive future.

The three programs listed in this section provide exciting

hands-on programs to spark a child’s imagination and provide

knowledge and experiences that can shape his or her future.

The Alabama Museum of Natural History Summer Expedition

allows kids to participate in an archaeological dig and

provides an opportunity to see the process by which history

is uncovered.

The American Museum of Natural History offers a strong

group of programs that cover a variety of areas.

The Rust College Study Abroad in Africa program enables

a group of kids to learn about African history and culture and

how it relates to our country. Kids come away with a first-hand

view of Africa and an experience that may change their lives.




Judy Hamilton

Box 870340

Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

(205) 348-0534


QUICK TAKE: A camp for future archeologists and paleontologists.

Kids get the chance to do extensive research at a natural

history museum to experience college living, and receive

credit. What’s unique is that a parent may also attend.

AGE REQUIREMENT: 14 and older.

FEES: The boarding program is between $350 and $400. Financial

aid is available.

DATES: Four six-day sessions in June and July


of Natural History, University of Alabama

BACKGROUND: Begun 1979, the program provides students

with opportunities for research and gives them a greater understanding

of the natural sciences.

DESCRIPTION: Students stay at the University of Alabama,

attend such courses as archaeology, botany, and geology; and

get some hands-on experience in archaeology and paleontology.

There are also opportunities for field research and other

expeditions. High school and college credit can be earned on

successful completion of the program.

OUR TAKE: This program will give your child insight into how

discoveries are made by the people at the Museum of Natural

History through the research and study of artifacts. It’s a

great way to meet new friends with similar interests, and the

college credit will look impressive on your child’s transcript.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: This expedition will provide your

child with the feel of an archeological “dig.” It’s a great place

to begin, if your kid is interested in archeology.


American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79 Street

New York, NY 10024-5192

(212) 769-5758


QUICK TAKE: Take a walk on the surface of Mars, trace the

evolution of homo sapiens’ cousin, learn the difference in

diet between a seal and a manatee, use Legos™ to construct

your very own Mars explorer. These programs held at one of

the world’s finest museums will excite and stimulate your


AGE REQUIREMENT: Destination Space: Astrophysics 1 (Minisession),

Astrophysics 2 (incoming 2nd–3rd graders) Astrophysics

3 (incoming 4th–5th graders); Positively Primates:

Primatology (Minisession) (incoming 4th–5th graders); Robotics

1 (incoming 6th–7th graders), Robotics 2 (4th–5th

graders); Oceans to Ocean Life 1 (incoming 4th–5th graders)

Oceans to Ocean Life 2 (incoming 2nd–3rd graders); Frogs 1

(incoming 4th–5th graders), Frogs 2 (incoming 2nd–3rd


FEES: Average fee for a 5-day program is $350.


of Natural History

BACKGROUND: Programs range from 2 to 5 days and have

been offered by the American Museum of Natural History for

many years.

DESCRIPTION: Below is a brief description of each of the AMNH

Adventures programs available in 2005. Every program includes

hands-on investigations, behind-the-scenes tours, and

visits with museum scientists.

Destination Space: Astrophysics 1: Students explore what it

would be like to live, work, and travel in space. Critical

and thought-provoking questions, such as, “Could life

exist on other planets?” and “What are black holes?,” are

investigated through hands-on experimentation and exploration

in the museum setting.

Dinosaur Camp: Students will explore the evolution and diversity

of the world’s dinosaurs.

Robotics: Students will design, build, and program their own

robots to explore an unknown planet. Using Lego MindstormsTM

robotics kits and computers, participants will

learn the principles of robotics, computer programming,

and mechanical engineering.

Oceans to Ocean Life: By looking at the amazing life the

oceans sustain, students will learn about the oceans’ biodiversity

as well as waves and currents. Activities include

trying out the museum’s hands-on Exploratorium/AMNH


Frogs: This program includes a behind-the-scenes glimpse

at the museum’s exhibition of live frogs, including such

rare and bizarre frogs as the flattened African clawed frog

and the giant African bullfrog. Participants visit Central

Park and other local habitats to learn how frogs vocalize,

move, and survive in a natural setting.

OUR TAKE: Any one of these programs is a perfect start for a

future student of natural history or the sciences. These programs

are terrific, highly engaging, interactive, and just the

sort of experience that sparks passionate pursuit. These programs

are held in conjunction with a first-rate cultural institution

and are a great way for your children to spend a part

of their summer.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: Check out the Web site for more information

on each program and prices. Chances are that there

is at least one project in which your kid will be interested.