Instructors from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford's Science in Motion program taught a group about ultraviolet rays at the YMCA Monday. But it wasn't a group of college students.
This week the Warren/Forest Higher Education Council will put on "Powerful Planet" week at the YMCA's day camp, where kids will learn about different aspects of science from different universities and other places.
On Monday, Brenda Brandon and Debra Forness from the Science in Motion program came to teach the day camp kids about UV rays.
The kids learned about different types of light and used beads that change color in sunlight to determine the UV index, see the effectiveness of different SPF levels and make bracelets.
Donna Smith, the program manager at Hi-Ed, said the kids will be visited by representatives from Penn State Behrend to learn about astronomy, a representative from the Warren Public Library and an instructor who will help them build solar-powered cars.
On Friday, Smith said the kids will go to the Bayfront Center for Maritime Studies in Erie, where they will ride on a boat and visit a shipwreck.
Every year the Hi-Ed does a week-long program with the day camp kids, who range from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade, Smith said.
She said the Hi-Ed goes to their college providers and asks them to do a program for the kids.
Smith said the focus on science has been particularly important because kids aren't doing well in science classes nationally.
"It's so critical," Forness said of teaching the kids science.
She said generally the groups she and Brandon teach have a lot of fun learning about different scientific things.
Smith said it is also important to provide children with a variety of summer activities.
"About this time in the summer the kids are getting restless," she said.
While Smith said she thinks it is important for the kids to get a break from school in the summer, it is good for them to get education in now and then.
"So many kids lose so much over the summer," she said.
Smith said the program is a great way to keep up the momentum of learning throughout the summer, as well as familiarize kids with the concept of college.
Kathy Lindsey, the YMCA child care coordinator, said she thinks it is great to introduce the kids to the future opportunities in a fun way.
"I want them to know that playing and hands-on things are education," she said.
Lindsey said it is important to find a happy medium between playing and being in a class.
The YMCA day camps runs for 10 weeks in the summer and will conclude the second week of August.
Lindsey said the camp has already had a history week and will have a business and industry week next week, during which the kids will learn about and visit local businesses.
"With the summer camp, we try to stay out of the building as much as possible," she said.