Starting today, Google has launched what it calls Camp Google — a free online summer camp for students aged between 7 and 10.
The four-week camp will have several weekly programmes by experts in the field of Oceanography, Space, Music and Environmental Studies to answer questions through the live stream portion of the camp.
During each of the four weeks of Camp Google, kids can explore different subjects by joining live adventures. The programme will start with Ocean Week, followed by Space Week with a Nasa astronaut and VSauce where they will help cook up space food and learn how astronauts eat in space.
This will be followed by a virtual visit to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park with a National Park Ranger and Derek Muller to learn more about how volcanoes form and finally the Music Week.
The programme will be online, which means students from any time zone can log in and participate in the camp.
As kids complete projects, they’ll earn camp badges indicating the new skills they learned.
The activities are designed for kids to do on their own, in groups with their friends, or with their families.
“Camp Google is a free summer camp that gets kids learning through fun, interactive science activities and adventures. Led by experts, the activities have been designed to encourage kids to ask questions, setting them on a lifelong journey of exploration and discovery,” says the note from Google.
In the first blog post, Sylvia Earle, marine biologist and Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic and the host of the first week of Camp Google, says: “Today, National Geographic diver Erika Bergman and I will take kids on the first adventure – a live dive in the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll head to the northernmost part of Florida Reef Tract, the most extensive living coral reef system in North America. Whether it be the Hammerhead Reef or shipwrecks like the Jay Scutti, it will be exciting to see what we’ll find down there!”
Kids will be made to participate hands-on with a range of activities to help them understand the science behind what they’ve seen underwater.
As Earle points out, the activities can be done with simple household supplies. “For example, we’ll learn about buoyancy and how things float in the ocean in an experiment with eggs, water and salt, and we’ll explore how dolphins use sounds to see underwater by building a sonar system.”
The content for the programme is developed in co-ordination with engineers at Google, educational organizations like Khan Academy and content specialists like National Geographic Kids, Nasa and National Park Service.