Discovery museum

Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum opens for first time since pandemic with children’s winter camps during the holidays | Projector


The following article was published on December 15, 2021 in the Santa Maria Sun – Volume 22, Number 42 [ Submit a Story ]

The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] – Volume 22, Number 42

Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum opens for first time since pandemic with children’s winter camps during holidays

By Taylor O’Connor

Parents who want to fill their child’s time during the winter holidays with a fun and educational opportunity should look to the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museumwinter camps.

Normally offered in the summer, the two science camps give kids the chance to be with kids their own age and learn about robotics or space, said program manager Donna Beal.

“As a mom, I really want to make sure my kids have as many opportunities to supplement what they did in school with extra activities where they can apply science and math with extra learning in the camps, ”Beal said.

The Vandenberg Launch Experience exhibit is the result of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) collaboration between the Vandenberg Space Force Base and the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum.

From December 20 to 23, parents can register their youngsters for Discovery Space Camp and older children for robotics camp, Beal said.

Discovery Space Camp, for ages 6 to 10, will start museum day at 9 a.m. Children will have the opportunity to learn about the constellations, the solar system, especially Mars, space nebulae and crater-making, through a variety of creative activities, she says.

“The Discovery Space Camp is inspired by a few exhibits that we have in the museum. … In particular the Vandenberg launch experience, ”she added.

Through a partnership with Space Force Base Vandenberg, the museum has designed exhibits related to space exploration and recently installed the Celestial Ceiling, planetarium software that allows children to see planets and stars on a screen. .

Once space camp is over, at 1 p.m., Robotics Camp begins – for ages 8 to 14 – where kids can learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM ) through robot construction and coding. The camp follows Lego Premier League, an organization that guides children through the early learning and exploration of STEAM.

“The robotics that we do follows what [the] First Lego League teaches during the competitive season. They will learn coding and coding for specific missions, which are defined on the First Lego League website, ”she said.

Students of Orcutt Academy Spartatroniks Righetti High School and Robotics Team Capacity, Service, Training, Responsibility, Achievement Club (ASTRA) working as counselors to help campers every day, Beal continued.

“A lot of young people volunteer as counselors to keep the kids engaged and just have a good time. They get community service hours for that, ”she said.

The camps are essentially a smooth opening for the museum; since the start of the pandemic, the museum has been closed to the public. The camps have a maximum capacity of 20 children per group. There are plenty of places for children to wash their hands, and masks are mandatory and temperatures will be taken daily.

After organizing the camps, the museum may be able to switch to New Year’s weekend hours, Beal said.

“I think for both camps one of the essential underlying things is the STEAM that we do. … Science, technology, engineering, it’s all built into all of these camps, and we’re doing it in such a fun way in both of these camps, ”Beal said.

Spaces for high school volunteers are full, but those who wish to volunteer for the summer should contact the museum for further opportunities.

The cost for both camps is $ 125 for museum members and $ 150 for non-members. To register for winter camps, email Beal at [email protected] The Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum is located at 705 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria.


• Need to hide gifts from nosy children or a curious special someone? Customers are welcome to bring their gifts to the Santa Maria Public Library and use its free gift-wrapping station. The library will provide workspace, wrapping paper, tape, scissors, ribbons and gift tags; the station will be available from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on December 11, 18, 21, 22 and 23. Supplies and space are limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis. Registration is not required. The library is located at 421 S. McClelland St. Call the library information desk for more information, (805) 925-0994, Ext. 8562.

Taylor O’Connor wrote this week’s Spotlight. You can reach her at [email protected]