In Person Summer Camps At Exploration Place In Wichita KS 2

Summer CampsSummer Is Awesome With Exploration Place

Adventure, fun and science collide to make summers awesome at Exploration Place in Wichita. Your camper will spend the summer exploring new topics, learning through hands-on interactive fun, making new friends and creating memories to last a lifetime.

2022 Summer Camps for 6 to 10-Year-Olds

Stay tuned for the 2023 Summer Camp schedule.

Date and Times: TBD Crystals, Gems and Geodes

Crystals, Gems and Geodes

Digging in the dirt is much more rewarding when you know what you’re looking for. Are you always finding pebbles and rocks in your child’s pockets and backpack? Feed their inner gemologist as campers learn to excavate and classify crystals, gems and geodes in this four-day camp.

Activities

  • Analyze and classify crystal structures using microscopes
  • Learn how to hunt for crystal veins or pockets in nature
  • Grow crystals by mixing and measuring various minerals
  • Explore geological formations while hunting for treasure
  • Break open a geode to discover the crystals hiding within
Date and Times: TBD Design and Destruction

Design and Destruction

Discovery through destruction and strategic reconstruction makes this camp a sell-out each year. Campers will build, design, construct and destroy a variety of projects throughout the week using Lego bricks and other materials. Interactive learning activities will engage critical thinking skills and celebrate campers’ sense of challenge in both team and individual projects.

Activities

  • Build skyscrapers with Lego towers
  • Learn about structure stability and strategy
  • Construct a life-size shelter in a team-building challenge
  • Design and build a wrecking ball to test on a variety of structures
  • Race a hand-built self-propelling wind-up car
Date and Times: TBD Minecraft Unplugged

Minecraft Unplugged

At Minecraft Unplugged camp, your child will use their favorite characters to dive into the science behind the game. A variety of STEM-based activities take your child’s passion for Minecraft off the computer screen and into real life with hands-on and interactive tasks and challenges.

Activities

  • Create a three-dimensional Minecraft character to use during the week’s science activities
  • Build a LED red stone torch that glows with the use of circuitry
  • Learn how topographic maps represent different geological features through color
  • Develop your own fantasy world, identify which biome to place it in and explore new landscapes
  • Use computer science to code a Minecraft character
Date and Times: TBD Rockets and Rovers

Rockets and Rovers

Your child will become a NASA engineer-in-training. Campers will build a rocket and launch it over 30 feet in the air. Design a landing module and parachute, then drop it off a three-story ledge in hopes the passengers survive! Learn to program a rover to explore the depths of our galaxy and build a rocket safe enough to take home and launch in their own backyard!

Activities

  • Design and launch a rocket
  • Engineer a landing system
  • Test the durability of a strategic design in correlation to height and impact
  • Code a rover to explore the unknown
  • Construct a bottle rocket capable of repeat launch missions
Date and Times: TBD Fossils, Dirt and Slag

Fossils, Dirt and Slag

Your child will step into the shoes of a paleontologist through fun and immersive activities that teach about prehistoric eras. Campers will get their hands dirty digging for fossils and sifting through slag. Through interactive gameplay, dive under the Earth’s surface to learn about fossils.

Activities

  • Dig for real fossils and identify them
  • Sift through slag found in Kansas
  • Measure the size of fossilized footprints to compare with a human’s
  • Build a model of the layers of the Earth where you would find fossils
  • Create your own fossil to take home and keep
Date and Times: TBD Beyond Bricks

Beyond Bricks

What happens when you take a classic like Legos and combine them with the excitement of robotics? Your creations come alive! Reimagine how to build and engineer plastic bricks by adding movement into them using robotics and programming.

Activities

  • Build robotic Lego bugs
  • Design and drive robotic Lego cars
  • Rebuild the world the way you would envision it through Legos
  • Discover Lego demolition techniques and wrecking balls
  • Create a Lego hoverboard
Date and Times: TBD STEM 500

STEM 500

Calling all racers! Learn the science behind the speed. Campers will learn about the design process by building their own derby car. Each activity will build upon the last, culminating on race day, where only one will take home the Derby Cup! Along the way, campers will learn that each small tweak can make controlling their cars a wild ride!

Activities

  • Build and customize a pinewood derby car
  • Experiment with weight and balance to learn their effects on performance
  • Learn how momentum and height play an important role in the speed of cars
  • Test the effect of friction and wind resistance on overall control
  • Race finished cars for the coveted Derby Cup!
Date and Times: TBD Animal Caretakers

Animal Caretakers

From birds and sheep to snakes and turtles, all animals need to stay healthy. This camp is perfect for kids who love caring for, and learning about, animals. Structured as an imaginary veterinarian’s office, each day, your child will learn about a new case that comes into the Exploration Place Clinic. Campers will interact with animals each day and chat with a real Veterinarian.

Activities

  • Learn how veterinarians treat a variety of ailments in animals
  • Use hands-on learning to understand animal body language
  • See the world through the eyes of a reptile
  • Meet a new animal every day!
Date and Times: TBD Lost in Space

Lost in Space

Your camper’s mission awaits! Budding astronauts and amateur astronomers will love getting lost in space. With a week packed full of hands-on learning, this camp is sure to be a highlight of your child’s summer. Nurture their love for exploration and let them experience the fundamentals of space like never before – at Exploration Place!

Activities

  • Measure the distance between planets and learn the order of the planets
  • Create a constellation
  • Experiment with star formation
  • Simulate moonquakes
  • Drive a Mars rover through the Martian landscape

2022 Summer Camps for 11 to 13-Year-Olds

Stay tuned for the 2023 Summer Camp schedule.

Date and Times: TBD Caverns, Crystals and Creativity

Caverns, Crystals and Creativity

Cultivate a deeper understanding of gems and geodes in this four-day camp with hands-on experiences exploring the hidden treasures once buried in the depths of the Earth. Who knows, the kid who once hoarded rocks may grow up to be a geologist or gemologist after spending the week learning the science under the surface!

Activities

  • Learn how to grid a gemstone landscape, excavate, and identify crystals found
  • Break open a geode, analyze and identify the type of mineral
  • Build a sifter and pan for gold
  • Use a gemstone to create a unique piece of jewelry to keep
  • Grow a crystal and analyze how the structure might be unique based upon the mineral chosen
Date and Times: TBD Robotics in Action

Robotics in Action

Campers will use a variety of robotic programming and engineering skills to complete challenges. Each day will feature a new type of robotic element and challenge. Robotics in Action takes the learning off of the tablet or computer screen and into your child’s hands.

Activities

  • Code a maze and program an Ozobot to run the course
  • Build Lego Mindstorm robots using block coding to orchestrate the robot’s actions
  • Explore circuitry and learn problem-solving skills in the discovery process
  • Animate an Edison bot to overcome challenges through a series of building and coding exercises
  • Following a blueprint, build an automated K’nex Ferris wheel with an operational motor
Date and Times: TBD Imagineering

Imagineering

Campers will dream, design and build awe-inspiring structures, animatronics and theme park attractions. Take their designing abilities to fantastical heights while designing a castle, fortress and magical tree house. When it comes to engineering and animatronics, imagination reigns.

Activities

  • Build multilevel fantasy-inspired structures
  • Develop a working animatronic hand that can pick up objects
  • Design a working rollercoaster
  • Use light and sound to enhance creations
  • Construct a scale model of an amusement park using blueprinting, design plans and scale models
Date and Times: TBD Canine Companions

Canine Companions

Dogs are well known as man’s best friend. But what is really known about our canine companions? Experience the world from a dog’s perspective by running, seeing, smelling and even speaking as they do. During the week, campers will meet working dogs and the humans who take care of them.

Activities

  • Test your speed against the fastest dog breed and take a look inside canine musculature
  • Use dog goggles to navigate an obstacle course
  • Create smells and experience the amazing ability of a canine snout
  • Explore the science of parasitology and identify the indicators of a healthy diet for our canine friends
  • Identify body language cues and become fluent in “dog language”
Date and Times: TBD Robotics and Rocketry

Robotics and Rocketry

Take your child’s love of rockets to a new level. Gone are the days of building a simple mechanism for launch. In this camp, your child will learn how robotics and rocketry collide. If your child is ready to advance their understanding of rocketry, adding robotic elements will surely be the highlight of their summer.

Activities

  • Program a Lego Mindstorms rocket launcher
  • Design a CO2 rocket
  • Experiment with projectiles and angles
  • Engineer a propulsion system
  • Complete missions and hit your target
Date and Times: TBD Survival Essentials

Survival Essentials

Kick your child’s love of the outdoors up a notch with an interactive and hands-on week of survival activities. This camp will develop quick-thinking skills and the tenacity to survive any element thrown at them! Is your child more of a “stay home and chill” kind of kid? Here’s their opportunity to learn what to do if they are ever caught in the wilderness unexpectedly.

Activities

  • Practice knot tying and put skills to the test
  • Create shelters large enough to climb into
  • Gain skills to navigate desert, forest, mountain, island and arctic terrains
  • Learn how to collect water in the wilderness
  • Play games that will test learned survival skills
Date and Times: TBD Brick Masters

Brick Masters

From digital design to engineering structures, take Lego skills to a new level. Develop machines, manipulate Lego Mindstorms and watch the build come to life with augmented reality. This camp focuses on the engineering process, problem-solving, programming and structural design.

Activities

  • Build and program sumo wrestling robots
  • Design a future city using CAD software
  • Use Lego Mindstorms to construct and program a wrecking ball to destroy a house
  • Step into augmented reality when Lego builds comes to life
Date and Times: TBD Archeological Adventures

Archeological Adventures

Travel back in time to the fictional lost Egyptian city of Quivera. Campers will discover how anthropologists and archeologists work together to unearth the past and use their findings to piece together what might have happened. This camp is combined with a literacy component and follows the fictional story of a young pharaoh who mysteriously disappears.

Activities

  • Perform archeological digs utilizing grids, and document found objects
  • Reconstruct broken pieces of pottery
  • Translate Egyptian hieroglyphics and decipher hidden messages
  • Create a pyramid using Egyptian engineering
  • Mummify an apple
Date and Times: TBD Mystery at the Museum

Mystery at the Museum

Calling all detectives and super sleuths! We need your help to solve the museum’s mysteries. Work in a team to uncover evidence, piece together clues and find the culprit. With five different mysteries to solve, your camper will be a pro in no time.

Activities

  • Decipher clues for five mysteries
  • Sort through suspect interviews
  • Perform fingerprint and footprint analysis
  • Analyze handwriting and review a letter left at the scene
  • Learn about blood typing and sample collection
In Person Summer Camps At Exploration Place In Wichita KS 3

Camp Schedule

Camp check-in begins at 8:30 am, with camp starting at 9 am each day. Camp ends at 4 pm, with final check-out ending at 4:15 pm each day. Any campers dropped off before 8:30 am or remaining after 4:15 pm will automatically be enrolled in Before or After Care. Parents will need to pay before leaving or picking up their camper. For more information on Before or After Care, please see the Summer Camp FAQs below.

Needs-Based Scholarships Available

If your child is eligible for free or reduced lunches or SNAP, they may qualify for a needs-based scholarship to attend camp!

Camp Registration and Policies

  • Required Camp Forms

    Please complete a packet for each camper.

    Download Camp Forms
  • Camp Refund Policy

    • 15 days or more notification – Full refund
    • 1-14 days notification – No refund. Registration may be transferred to another week before camp begins if space is available.*

    *Full refund or camp transfer (if available) for documented medical necessity, major emergency or military deployment if notified before camp begins

Summer Camp FAQs

General Questions
  • What ages are included in summer camp?

    Exploration Place has two age groups for in-person camps. Campers ages 6-10 and 11-13. Campers 11-13 years old have more advanced material with a heavier focus on technology. Our lesson plans are written to target specific age levels.

  • What are camp dates?
    • Camps are Monday – Friday.
    • There is no camp the week of July 4.
  • What time does camp start? What time does camp end?
    • Check-in begins at 8:30 am* and Camp begins at 9 am
    • Check-out begins at 4 pm and ends at 4:15 pm.*

    *Reservations required for Before and After Care; space is limited.

  • Can campers arrive early or stay late?

    Yes. Exploration Place provides Before and After Care services for an additional fee. Before Care begins at 7:30 am. After Care ends at 6 pm.

  • Can I add Before or After Care in the middle of the week?

    If there is space available, you are welcome to register mid-week. Exploration Place does not pro-rate Before or After Care.

  • Can I add Before or After Care for just one day?

    Before and After Care are sold by the week. The price is the same if your child is present for one day or all five days.

  • Can I pick up any time I want?

    Yes, you are welcome to check out your camper at any point during the day by going to the front desk and requesting a camper check-out. However, we do not permit parents to check out their camper between 3:40 – 4 pm. Campers clean up their projects and transition to the check-out room between 3:40 – 4 pm.

  • My camper has a dentist appointment. What do I do for late arrival or early departure?

    Campers can be check-in or out any time except between 3:40 – 4 pm each day. Go to the Exploration Place Ticket Counter in the Main Lobby and ask for camp staff. Camp staff will come to you to check in or check out your campers during the camp day. Exploration Place is a large property. Campers and staff may not be in their classrooms when you arrive. It may take several minutes for camp staff to reach the Ticket Counter or collect your children and their belongings.

  • What services are provided with Before and After Care?

    Before Care allows campers supervised free play by Exploration Place camp staff before the camp day begins. Before Care check-in begins at 7:30 am. All paperwork must be completed before adults leave. Breakfast is provided for campers. At 8:30 am, campers will transition to their groups’ lead teachers and meet arriving campers. The camp day begins at 9 am. Before Care is charged by the week at $37.50.

    After Care allows campers to remain when the camp day has concluded. At 4:15 pm, campers transfer from lead teachers’ care to camp staff care. They will be served a snack and be allowed supervised free play. Campers must be checked-out to their adults by 6 pm. After Care is charged by the week at $50.

  • Can my camper switch camps?

    We want to make sure your camper has a fun and successful camp. When you register, you are reserving that spot for your camper. We are unable to change camp registrations mid-week. Campers may be switched to an open camp before camp begins according to the Refund Policy.

  • My camper is unable to come to camp for the week we signed up. What is your refund policy?
    • 15 days or more notification – Full refund
    • 1-14 days notification – No refund. Registration may be transferred to another week before camp begins if space is available.*

    *Full refund or camp transfer (if available) for documented medical necessity, major emergency or military deployment if notified before camp begins.

  • Do campers leave Exploration Place?

    Camp groups may walk to the Keeper of the Plains adjacent to Exploration Place. Otherwise, campers will not leave Exploration Place. However, only selected enclosed rooms at Exploration Place are certified as camp spaces by the childcare licensing authority, KDHE. This is why Exploration Place exhibits, The Dome and playground are listed on the Field Trip Permission form.

  • Do campers spend any time outside?

    Yes! We value learning in many different environments. Weather permitting, campers may eat in the picnic grove and spend 30 minutes on the playground before or after lunch. Campers may also spend additional time working on class projects or doing hands-on lessons outside.

  • When is it too hot or too cold to go outside?

    At the discretion of the camp director, if the heat index is over 95 degrees Fahrenheit, campers may remain inside. If the wind chill is under 32 degrees Fahrenheit, campers may remain inside.

  • What should my camper bring and wear to camp?
    • Lunch, packed in a leak-resistant container and labeled with the camper’s name
    • A water bottle labeled with the camper’s name
    • Clothes that can get messy. Daily projects include glue, materials that can stain, and opportunity for kids to get wet, sweaty or dirty.
    • Closed-toe shoes
  • What should my camper leave at home?

    Unless a letter or special request comes from camp staff, campers should leave at home:

    • Electronics
    • Toys
    • Card and tradables

    Exploration Place is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

  • My camper left a lunch box. Do you have lost and found?

    Items found in camp spaces will be given to the camp director during the week of your child’s camp. Any remaining items will be placed in Exploration Place Lost and Found. Contact the Ticket Counter for Lost and Found. Lunch containers and water bottles left by campers will be emptied of food and liquids by staff at the close of business each day.

  • My camper has special medical or behavioral needs. Whom do I contact?

    For any camper concerns, contact the camp director. There may be special forms that will need to be completed. You may reach the camp director at (316) 660-0644 or contact us online.

  • How do I reach the camp director?

    You can chat with the camp director at check-in or check-out. If you need to reach her during the camp day, please call (316) 660-0644.

Group Assignment and Classroom Questions
  • What do I do if I need to speak to my camper’s teacher?

    Camp teachers are available at check-in from 8:30 – 9 am and check-out from 4 – 4:15 pm. Other arrangements may be made to speak with a camp director if these times do not work with the camp parent. Parents are also encouraged to share any problems with the assistant camp director or the camp director via phone, email or in-person at any time during normal business hours.

  • Who is my camper’s teacher?

    Camp teachers are assigned weekly. We make every effort to assign camp teachers that we believe will be the best fit for the campers. Classes are filtered by age.

  • Where are the camp classrooms?

    Camp is held in any of the following classrooms: Discovery Room A, Discovery Room B, Explorer Room A, Explorer Room B, Water Way Hall, The Live Science Theater, and the Board Room.

  • Can siblings be in the same class?

    We take any and all requests into consideration. Our lesson plans are targeted to a specific age; if siblings are the same age, they may be in the same class. The camp director has discretion over camper placement. Please make requests at least two weeks prior to your registered camp start date.

  • Can my friend’s son and my son be in the same class even though they’re not the same age?

    We take any and all requests into consideration. Our camps are written to target specific ages and age levels. If campers are more than a year apart, typically, they will be placed with campers of like age. The camp director has discretion over camper placement. Please make requests at least two weeks prior to your registered camp start date.

  • Are the lesson plans available for me to look at?

    Lesson plans are proprietary. However, feel free to ask camp teachers at check-in or check-out each day for a summary of the lessons they will be covering or did cover. The assistant camp directors and camp director are also knowledgeable on the lesson plans.

  • How many campers are in each class?

    Our classes are 15 students. Each classroom will have a lead teacher and an assistant.

  • Do campers go to the exhibits?

    Yes! Each afternoon, campers have the opportunity to visit one exhibit. Campers will rotate to visit each exhibit at least once throughout the week.

  • Do campers go to The Dome every week?

    Campers visit The Dome when it applies to the week’s theme. For example, during Under the Sea, campers saw Great White Shark in The Dome.

  • Do campers get to see a Live Science Show every week?

    Campers see a Live Science Show when it is applicable to the week’s theme.

Lunch, Snacks and Drink Questions
  • Does my camper need to bring a lunch?

    Yes, campers should bring a lunch labeled with their names in a leak-proof container (no paper sacks), silverware if needed, with an ice pack. Microwaves are available as needed.

  • Can campers get lunch at the snack bar?

    No, lunch staff are not available to take campers to the snack bar.

  • Can I bring my camper a lunch?

    Yes, check with an Exploration Place staff member at check-in to confirm your camper’s lunch time. You are welcome to check out your camper for lunch, drop off lunch at the front desk, or bring lunch to eat with your camper.

  • Can I eat with my camper?

    Yes! Feel free to join your camper for lunch. Check in with the assistant camp director when you arrive. You will need to show your code to an EP staff member.

  • Does my camper need to bring a snack?

    Campers are provided two snacks each day. Snacks are usually animal crackers, goldfish or something similar. You can choose to send an alternative snack with your camper. If your camper has any food allergies, please share that with someone at check-in and put the information into KidCheck and on the medical forms provided before the start of camp.

  • Can my camper bring a water bottle?

    Yes! We recommend sending your camper with a water bottle labeled with your camper’s name. Exploration Place has refill stations throughout the museum and in each classroom.

  • Where do campers eat lunch?

    Camp lunch is located in WaterWay Hall or Picnic Grove.

  • Can my camper share their lunch with a friend?

    No. Campers must eat the lunch they are provided. No trades are allowed.

  • What about allergies?

    Exploration Place Summer Camps are peanut and tree-nut free. We ask that parents do not pack these items in camper lunches to avoid any allergies. If your camper has any food allergies, please share with someone at check-in and put the information into KidCheck and on the medical forms provided before the start of camp.

Registration Form Questions
  • Do I have to fill out the Model Release form?

    No. The model release form is optional. If you choose not to fill out the form, your camper may be removed from certain activities where picture/videography is taking place to prevent your camper from being included in the picture. Please let an Exploration Place staff member know you decline the model release form at check-in.

  • Do I have to fill out the consent and disclosure form? Can you email the form (I’m very busy)?

    Yes, the consent and disclosure form is required to be on file before you can check in your camper. The consent form has valuable information on it, including emergency contacts, health information and allergies. You must fill out the form prior to camp or at check-in on the first day of camp. You cannot leave your camper in our care if we do not have a consent form on file for them.

  • Do I have to fill out all of these forms? There are so many!  

    As a KDHE licensed childcare facility, Exploration Place is required to keep specific information on file for each child. We know it is time-consuming, but we appreciate your cooperation. If your child has no medications, write NA in the blanks of those forms. We may only give medications if there is a form on file. If you need clarification between the Short Term Medication form and the Long Term Medication form, you may contact the camp director before camp begins or the assistant camp director at check-in.

    If your camper is coming to multiple camp weeks, you only need to fill in the forms once. If dated accordingly, the forms are good for one year.

    If you have any questions, please contact the camp director, Jessica Nickel, at (316) 660-0644.

  • Do I have to fill out forms for every week of camp?

    No, forms are good for one year, beginning May and continuing until the following April.

KidCheck Questions
  • What is KidCheck?

    KidCheck is an app that allows Exploration Place to match campers and their approved adults. The app is available as a free download on most smartphone app stores.

  • How do I use KidCheck?

    Download the app and input your and your camper’s information. At check-in, log into the KidCheck and follow the directions on the screen. Express Check-in will send information from your phone to the KidCheck printers. Manuel stations will be set up for check-in as well. The adult will need the phone number listed on the account.

    Two labels will print when check-in is complete. The camper label functions as a nametag and will be placed on the camper’s shirt. The adult label should be taken by the adult. If another adult will check out the camper, the adult will need the information from the label.

  • What if I lose my KidCheck code?

    If you lose your code, you will be asked to show a photo ID. Exploration Place will confirm pick-up ability through the forms filled out at the beginning of camp. If there are any concerns with pick up for the day, please contact the camp director, Jessica Nickel, (316) 660-0644.

  • Can I give my code to anyone?

    Yes, Exploration Place staff are authorized to check out campers to anyone with the code that matches the camper’s nametag. The code can be presented via text, picture, or verbally.

  • What if someone needs to pick up my camper who isn’t on the approved list on the camper consent form?

    As long as the person picking up has the code, they are authorized to check out your camper. If they do not have the code, you may call ahead of time with your name, the code and the name of the person picking up. We will require a photo ID from that person at check out.

  • Can my camper’s sibling pick up their younger sibling?

    Siblings over the age of 18 are able to check-out your camper as long as they have the code or are on the approved check-out list. Exceptions may be made to this rule at the discretion of the assistant camp director or the camp director.

  • Can my camper check-in or check-out without an adult?

    Campers are given permission to check themselves out on a case-by-case basis. Parents must fill out the camper self-check-in/out form prior to camp starting. Contact the camp director for additional information.

COVID and Illness Questions
  • My child has been exposed to someone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. What do I need to do?

    Please keep your camper at home. Contact the camp director as soon as possible to explain the situation and to discuss exposure protocols.

  • My child is sick, but I don’t think its COVID related.

    Please keep your camper at home. Campers may not return until they have been fever and symptom-free for over 24 hours without medication.

  • My child requires medication for a condition that is not contagious. What do I need to do?

    First, fill in the short or long-term medication form as required. Be sure to explain what time(s) medicines should be administered. Then, bring the medication to camp check-in in its original package that includes dosing instructions. Medications and forms will be stored together with the medication. If medication requires refrigeration, please alert camp staff at check-in. Campers must be able to self-administer injectable medications. Accommodations will be made for certain seizure medications. Please contact the camp director at (316) 660-0644 in advance to make arrangements. Remaining medications will be returned to adults at check-out each day or at the end of the week as directed by the parent.