Nickelodeon honors campus summer camp

By By Michael McFall

By Michael McFall

The U’s research reputation gets the attention of prestigious journals, scholars, institutions8212;and Nickelodeon.
The U Youth Education program was recently awarded Best Day Camp in Salt Lake City in Nickelodeon’s annual Parents’ Picks Awards, beating out six other nominees in a nationwide online poll. The 11-week-long summer day camp for children exposed them to the U’s science and environmental opportunities to enjoy8212;and eventually join8212;as per the day camp’s design.
“It’s to expose the students to future careers, to research facilities on campus,” said Claire Turner, director of U Youth Education. “It’s a real good way to introduce students to the U and get them excited about coming to the U eventually. That’s the main idea behind it.”
Youth Education, part of the department of continuing education at the U, offered about 120 kids each week a chance to experience the U’s campus and research labs. Most of the campers, between the ages of 5 and 13, were children of U faculty and staff. They dissected a cow’s heart at the U Medical School, built catapults and parachutes at the engineering buildings and learned what causes earthquakes from the U’s seismology lab.
“The counselors and coordinators put their heart and soul into it in the summer,” Turner said.
The Parents’ Picks Awards recognized winners in 30 categories from 52 major U.S. cities. An open poll at www.parentsconnect.com that ran throughout the summer determined the winners. The 2009 winners will be featured on the website throughout the year. But contrary to expectation and cultural tradition, no one from the U was slimed with green goo during acceptance of the award.
“It is good to know that campers and their parents love our program and it means a lot to be recognized by them in this way,” said Nate Friedman, administrative program coordinator for Youth Education, in a statement.