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Frequently Asked Questions About Summer Camp

General

• What is a Mad Science Camp?
• What ages are appropriate for a Mad Science Camp?
• What is the difference between a half-day and full-day camp?
• My 6 year-old really loves robots. Can s/he enroll in your Wacky Robots & Widgets Camp?
• My preschooler is almost four. Can I enroll her/him in your Little Green Thumbs Camp?
• Can I sign my child up for more than one week of camp?
• Can I drop my child off early for Mad Science Camp?
• What is your camper to staff ratio?
• How many kids will be in my child’s camp?
• Does Mad Science have a minimum enrollment requirement?
• My child has taken the after school classes. Are the camps different?
• What happens if I am late to pick up my child from Mad Science Camp?
• What is the Mad Science cancellation policy for summer camp?
• Who are the Mad Science instructors?
• Does Mad Science conduct background checks?

Registration

• How do I register for a Mad Science Summer Camp?
• Will I receive a confirmation of my registration?
• What is the Mad Science cancellation policy for summer camp?

 

During Camp Days

• What should my child wear to camp?
• What should my child bring to camp?
• Can I drop my child off early for Mad Science Camp?
• What happens if I am late to pick up my child from Mad Science Camp?

GENERAL

What is a Mad Science Camp?

Mad Science® is the world’s leading science enrichment provider. We deliver unique, hands-on science experiences for children that are as entertaining as they are educational. Mad Science is proud to introduce millions of children to a world of discovery while sparking their imagination. Mad Science encourages scientific literacy in children in an age when science is as vital as reading, writing and arithmetic.

Mad Science camps offer a daily combination of in-class science discovery and exploration, outdoor games, and hands-on applications of the scientific principles presented. Our campers will be able to touch, see and hear what science is really all about and how it affects the world around them. We use an inquiry-based technique that allows even the youngest camper to enjoy our learning environment.   Campers create a take-home project every day of Mad Science camp.

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What ages are appropriate for a Mad Science Camp?

Mad Science of the Bay Area has developed camp programming for kids between the ages of 4 and 12 years old.   We have divided our eight camp programs into age groups. 

Ages
4-6

Little Green Thumbs

Ages
5-12

Jet Cadets
“Fizz”-cal Phenomena & Che-Mystery
Spy Academy
     
Reactions in Action
NASA: Journey into Outer Space

Eco-Explorers

Ages
7-12

         Wacky Robots & Widgets           Eureka/The Young Inventors' Camp

Grades
5-9

College for Kids

The activities in each of these camps is specifically designed for these age groups. We ask that parents adhere to the minimum age requirement of our camps. Our programs are designed to be hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. In most cases our minimum age-requirement is not about how intelligent our campers are but about what they can do! For example, in our Wacky Robots & Widgets camp, campers spend a full day of camp building robots requiring a significant amount of manual dexterity and patience. In our experience, campers younger than 7 years old are less successful and tend to struggle, therefore they do not have as much fun.

All Mad Science activities are specifically designed to be conducted in an age appropriate manner. Camp activities are comprised of large group discussion, work in small groups and individual projects. Depending on the nature of the activity our instructors typically split the campers by age to ensure the material is presented at an appropriate level. If there are different-aged children in the same camp, we may use the buddy system where the older camper will help the younger camper. However, for the most part, campers work in small groups with children of similar age.

Our camps generally have a good mix of both ages and gender, therefore your child will be paired with children their age and are likely to make new friends. All kids have fun at Mad Science, but any activity can be more fun if it is shared with a sibling or friend. Please mention our camps to your family, friends and neighbors. After all, you just may gain a car pool partner!

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What is the difference between a half-day and full-day camp?

Most of our camp topics are offered as either a half-day (3-hour) camp or a full-day (6-hour) camp.  In each version we present demonstrations and camp activities that highlight the scientific principles of each theme. The full-day camps allow us to spend more time on certain aspects, go deeper into the material and provide additional hands-on activities. The exceptions are NASA: Journey into Outer Space and Little Green Thumbs. Little Green Thumbs is only offered as a half-day camp due to the age of the campers.

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My Six-Year Old really loves robots. Can s/he enroll in your Wacky Robots & Widgets Camp?

We know we have a lot of 6 year-old robot fans out there because we get this question a lot! In our Wacky Robots & Widgets camp, campers spend a full day of camp building robots which requires a significant amount of manual dexterity and patience. In our experience, most students younger than 7 years old tend to really struggle with this aspect of the camp which is why we have set the minimum age requirement at seven.

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My preschooler is almost four can I enroll him/her in your Little Green Thumbs Camp?

No. All campers in our Little Green Thumbs Camp must be four years old before the first day of camp to enroll.

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Can I sign my child up for more than one week of camp?

We have a total of eight distinctly different camp programs. Your child is more than welcome to sign up for more than one week of camp.   Be aware that each camp of the same name is exactly the same. For example, every week of our Jet Cadets camp will be the same as any other week so there is no reason for your camper to repeat that camp in the same summer unless they loved it enough to do it again!

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Can I drop my child off early for Mad Science Camp?

In general, Mad Science cannot accommodate early drop off. Our instructors will not be responsible for your child until the stated start time of the camp day. Please do not drop off your child and leave him/her unattended before the start time of camp. Some of our partner locations may offer before or after care for some camps. Please check our schedule on our website for information about locations offering these options.

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What is your camper to staff ratio?

For school-age summer camps and summer camps that include 4-year olds, Mad Science maintains a camper to staff ratio of 10 to 1.

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How many kids will be in my child’s camp?

For school-age camps, enrollment is limited based on the number of campers that can be comfortably accommodated in the facility. Camps that include 4-year olds will be limited to 20 campers.

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Does Mad Science have a minimum enrollment requirement?

Yes. Mad Science reserves the right to cancel any camp that does not meet the minimum enrollment of 7 campers. Minimum enrollment must generally be met at least two weeks prior to the camp start date. If Mad Science cancels a camp due to low enrollment, we will work with you to identify an alternative camp location or date.

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My child has taken the after school classes, are the camps different?

Yes. The content of our camps is completely different from the after school classes. Campers may cover some similar areas of science and specific science concepts but the activities in our camps are different from those in our after school programs. The only exception to this is our NASA camp, which uses the same curriculum as our NASA after school enrichment program.

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What happens if I am late to pick up my child from Mad Science Camp?

Our Mad Scientists often have other responsibilities immediately following camp and we ask that parents pick up children from camp on time. Mad Science reserves the right to charge a late pickup fee of $1 per minute. Late pickup charges will begin accruing 5 minutes after the end of camp. Any late pickup fees must be paid directly to the Mad Science site coordinator prior to the start of the next day of camp.

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What is the Mad Science cancellation policy for summer camp?

Mad Science camps are offered with our partner locations and those locations may have different cancellation policies. Mad Science will adhere to our partner location’s cancellation policy. Please check with the partner location for their specific cancellation policy.

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Who are Mad Science Instructors?

Our Mad Science Instructors (also known as Mad Scientists) come from a variety of backgrounds. Many are future or former teachers who are seeking a fun and flexible part-time job. All share our mission of sparking an interest in science in children. All of our Camp Mad Scientists have either taught in our after school enrichment program or in our camps and also have other experience working in a formalized setting (paid or volunteer) with groups of grade-school aged children. They all have an up-beat child-friendly personality, have passed a criminal background check and completed an extensive Mad Science training program. 

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Does Mad Science conduct background checks?

Absolutely! All of our instructors are required to pass a criminal background check with the Department of Justice. They also have a negative TB test on file. Most of our instructors are also trained in First Aid and CPR.

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REGISTRATION

How do I register for a Mad Science Summer Camp?

All of our Mad Science camps are offered through partnerships with local parks and recreation departments, YMCA centers, community centers and community colleges. Our partners conduct the registration for their respective locations.

For information about how to register at one of our partner locations check out the Summer Camp Schedule 2009. Many of our partner locations offer online or telephone registration.  

If you know which partner you are interested in registering with, check out our Camp Locations page which contains everything you need to know about our partner locations.

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Will I receive a confirmation of my registration?

When you register for Mad Science Camp with one of our partners, don’t forget to ask them for information about their confirmation policy.

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What is the Mad Science cancellation policy for summer camp?

Mad Science camps are offered with our partner locations and those locations may have different cancellation policies. Mad Science will adhere to our partner location’s cancellation policy. Please check with the partner location for their specific cancellation policy.

In most cases, payment is due in full at registration. Nearly all of our partner locations require payment in full to hold a spot for a child. 

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DURING CAMP DAYS


What should my child wear to camp?

Have your child wear play clothes. There is always the possibility of stains when working with science! Send your child to camp with shoes that will remain securely on their feet while running (no flip-flops please). We will be spending the majority of our day in the classroom, but the kids will go outside for some camp activities. If your child needs to be sun-screened, please apply it before arriving at camp.

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What should my child bring to camp?

Mad Science will provide all supplies needed for camp activities. In addition, at some locations, we will provide all campers with a Hydration Station (aka water bottle) to keep at camp for the week.  Full-Day (6-hour) campers need to bring a lunch. We will provide water to drink throughout the day, along with non-carbonated drinks and snacks. While we try to provide healthy snack options, if you would like your child to have specific foods, please send the food from home. It is always a good idea to inform Mad Science of any significant food allergies your child may have.

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Can I drop my child off early for Mad Science Camp?

In general, Mad Science cannot accommodate early drop off. Our instructors will not be responsible for your child until the stated start time of the camp day. Please do not drop off your child and leave him/her unattended before the start time of camp. Some of our partner locations may offer before or after care for some camps. Please check our schedule on our website for information about locations offering these options. 

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What happens if I am late to pick up my child from Mad Science Camp?

Our Mad Scientists have other responsibilities immediately following camp and we ask that parents pick up children from camp on time. Mad Science reserves the right to charge a late pickup fee of $1 per minute. Late pickup charges will begin accruing 5 minutes after the end of camp. Any late pickup fees must be paid directly with the Mad Science office prior to the start of the next day of camp.

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