New season with Science Camp Randers
For nearly six years, schoolchildren in the capital of Crown Jutland, Randers, have had a different opportunity to deal with natural science. It was in the fall of 2010 that the first 8th grades from Randers Municipality had the opportunity to explore their interest and talent for natural science across multiple schools. Since then, Science Camp Randers has been extended several times, so the camp today covers 4th to 9th grade. Several hundreds of schoolchildren have received the offer that makes science more visible to the schoolchildren.
"This is exactly why other municipalities have begun to take an interest in what we're doing here in Randers. Everywhere people are working with the aim of getting more schoolchildren to take an interest in science. That is partly because educations of natural science have experienced a declining interest, and skilled researchers are needed in this field," says Jens Madsen, who, as a teacher at Randers Realskole, is one out of nine coordinators for Science Camp Randers.
The special thing about this initiative is, among other things, that the municipality's elementary schools and the municipal youth school have a close collaboration with the private schools. In addition, there will be collaboration across the education sector with, for example, upper secondary schools and universities. This way, the camp also helps to build a bridge for the schoolchildren from the elementary school to their further education. Moreover, Science Camp Randers receives visits from Denmark’s most renowned researchers in natural science.
For instance, the 8th grades have had a visit from the astrophysicist at the Niels Bohr Institute, Anja Cetti Andersen. There have also been visits by space scientist Line Drube from the German Space Institute in Berlin and chief designer of the spacecraft Rosetta, Hans Jensen, from the company Terma.
"It is this particular unique composition that makes Viborg Municipality interested in the Science Camp concept. In a group, you can lift much more and create a coherent offer. In addition, we actually see a lot of interest among the schoolchildren, it only requires, however, that the right offer is present," says Science Coordinator at Viborg Municipality, Janus Halkier.
In Viborg, the first 100 schoolchildren from 4th to 6th grade have attended Science Camp. The Project Manager at Viborg Gymnasium and HF, Peter Arnborg Videsen, sees it as important in order for the schoolchildren to develop a strong and continuing interest in natural science.
"At our upper secondary school we offer natural science as a field of study. In this connection, it can be important for schoolchildren to be able to develop their talent in science in elementary school. It can help to maintain the interest in natural science," says Peter Arnborg Videsen.
The 19th of January, Science Camp Randers opened up for sign-ups for a new season for 4th-6th grades and 7th grades. The two courses are built up differently and are held at different times. Four times from February to May, the schoolchildren from 4th-6th grade attend workshops and field trips, where they have the opportunity to investigate their science talent in the natural science-subjects. For schoolchildren in 7th grade, there is a two-day camp in May, where they can immerse themselves in research, processing and production of food. Interested parties can sign up via the website sciencecamp.randers.dk.