Summer Camp

Sciencenter Summer Camp Update (5/20)

In accordance with the latest scientific information from the CDC and the Tompkins County Health Department, we have unfortunately decided that the Sciencenter will not hold in-person summer camp this year. While camp is an important piece of our mission, we feel we would not be able to provide the camp experiences we value while maintaining social distancing, and our top priority is to keep our staff and community members safe. We have sent out information about refunds and a new virtual Sciencenter summer camp experience to those who were already registered for summer camp. We will share more information in the coming weeks. We miss seeing you in person, and hope that we will all be able to be together safely sometime soon.

2020 Summer Camp Programs

Science Explorer Sessions (K-1)
Week 1:June 29-July 3 – Science Everywhere
Week 2: July 6-10 – Space Science
Week 3: July 13-17 – Science Everywhere
Week 4: July 20-24 – Space Science
Week 5: July 27-31 – Science Everywhere
Week 6: Aug 3-7 – Space Science
Week 7: Aug 10-14 – Science Everywhere

Young Scientist Sessions (Grades 2-6)
Week 1:June 29-July 3 – Build! Astro Engineering
Week 2: July 6-10 – Investigate! Habitats
Week 3: July 13-17 – Explore! Earth and Universe
Week 4: July 20-24 – Build! Astro Engineering
Week 5: July 27-31 – Investigate! Habitats
Week 6: Aug 3-7 – Explore! Earth and Universe
Week 7: Aug 10-14 - Build! Astro Engineering
Week 8: Aug 17-21 – Investigate! Habitats
Week 8: Aug 17-21 – GIRL POWER!
Week 9: Aug 24-28 – Explore! Earth and Universe
Week 10: Aug 31-Sept 4 – Build! Astro Engineering

Junior Scientists Sessions (Grades 7-9)
Session A: June 29 – July 10 – CIT+ Program
Session B: July 13-July 24 – CIT+ Program
Session C: July 27-Aug 7 – CIT+ Program
Session D: Aug 10-21 – CIT+ Program

Week 9: Aug 24-28 – Junior Scientists Camp
Week 10: Aug 31-Sept 4 – Junior Scientists Camp

Below is information for our 2020 Session.
Science Explorers: Science Everywhere
(SESSION 1, June 29 – July 3)
(SESSION 3, July 13 – July 17)
(SESSION 5, July 27 – July 31)
(SESSION 7, August 10 – August 14)

Sessions 1, 3, 5, 7 are identical. Please choose only one.

In this program designed for our younger explorers, campers will develop science process skills to explore the world through simple experiments. Activities include a nature walk, building boats, making flubber, and more!
Cost: $300 member, $340 non-member.

Science Explorers: Space Science
(SESSION 2, July 6 – July 10)
(SESSION 4, July 20 – July 24)
(SESSION 6, August 3 – August 7)

Sessions 2, 4, & 6 are identical. Please choose only one.

In this program designed for our younger explorers, campers will use science process skills to explore space and the universe. Activities include launching rockets, exploring our inflatable planetarium, imagining life on a distant planet, and more!
Cost: $300 member, $340 non-member.

Below is information for our 2020 Session.
BUILD! Astro Engineering
(SESSION 1, June 29 – July 3)
(SESSION 4, July 20 – July 24)
(SESSION 7, August 10 – August 14)
(SESSION 10, August 31 – September 4)

Sessions 1, 4, 7 & 10 are identical. Please choose only one.

3…2…1…Blast off to the stars! Many space-based engineering challenges will allow campers to explore building with a variety of materials and techniques. Activities include building and launching rockets, designing a drop-proof capsule for an egg-stronaut, going behind the scenes to see how our exhibits are built, and more!
Cost: $300 member, $340 non-member.

INVESTIGATE! Animals & habitats
(SESSION 2, July 6 – July 10)
(SESSION 5, July 27 – July 31)
(SESSION 8, August 17 – August 21)

Sessions 2, 5, & 8 are identical. Please choose only one.

How important is a home? Campers will explore interactions between animals, plants, and humans and investigate connections with the natural world. Activities include meeting our living animals and exhibits, exploring our local stream ecosystem, using microscopes to look at life on a new scale, and more!
Cost: $300 member, $340 non-member.

EXPLORE! Earth and the Universe
(SESSION 3, July 13 – July 17)
(SESSION 6, August 3 – August 7)
(SESSION 9, August 24 – August 28)

Sessions 3, 6, & 9 are identical. Please choose only one.

Explore the past and discover the future! Try some astronomy, geology, and biology as you and your fellow campers prepare to explore our planet, the solar system and beyond. Activities will include a visit in our inflatable planetarium, exploring the properties of dry ice, making your own volcanoes, and more!
Cost: $300 member, $340 non-member.

Girl Power!
(SESSION 8, August 17 – August 21)

This brand new summer program is specifically designed for girls who want to learn about engineering and design in a fun and relaxed environment. Campers will learn about simple machines and get creative to design a Rube-Goldberg Chain Reaction machine of their own.
Cost: $300 member, $340 non-member.

Below is information for our 2020 Session.
(SESSION 9, August 24 – August 28)
(SESSION 10, August 31- September 4)

Sessions 9 & 10 are identical. Please choose only one.

Are you interested in making discoveries and exploring the world of science? Are you entering grades 7-9? If so, you’re invited to join us for our brand new Junior Scientists Camp! Campers will explore science and engineering topics, while designing their own week-long project. They will also have the opportunity to interact with our touch tank and animal collections! This camp is designed for middle schoolers who want to continue their own exploration of science and may not be interested in or able to participate in our CIT+ program Cost: $270 member, $300 non-member.


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 Science Explorer 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 newsletters about camp activities, and participating in scientific research projects. They will also engage with our water and land animals here in the museum, and help to design and prototype a new exhibit at the Sciencenter.

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

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

Early Bird Applicants: $400
Regular Applicants: $450

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, 2020 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 Peter Leipzig at

Apply today to be an FSL/CIT+ at the Sciencenter this summer.

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


Summer Camp online registration will open on March 9, 2020 at 10 am. 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 August 2020.

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 fill out and Submit an application either in person or by email
  • Please complete scholarship application form by March 15, 2020. After that date we will no longer reserve spots for scholarship applicants

Submitting a scholarship application does not guarantee a space in camp. If you are approved for a scholarship, you will receive an email with instructions to register for camp after registration opens in early March.

For questions about scholarships, please contact Elizabeth McDonald at (607) 272-0600 ×148 or email

Camp fees will only be refunded if camper is withdrawn before June 1, 2020.

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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