How To Prepare Your Students to Visit Science Camp


Students stepping off the ferry and coming to MSA camp at Emerald Bay, Catalina Island.

One of the most important things a good scientist does is observe. Observation is instrumental in making discoveries about the natural world. With careful and deliberate examination, a scientist can uncover the mysteries of how nature operates. Since children are excellent observers, science is innately interesting to them. As a teacher, you can provide your students with opportunities to learn about the environment simply by exposing them to it.

When your students attend our marine biology science camp, they will learn about the environment on and around Catalina Island. To prepare them for their visit, you can guide them to start thinking like scientists.

Priming The Imagination With Questions

One way you can do this is to ask them questions to pique their curiosity about what they will see while they attend the camp. What kinds of species do they think they will see? What types of behaviors will they potentially observe? Why do they think the animals behave in those ways? What do they most hope to learn about while at camp? The more you get your students questioning, the more they will want to learn. Fueling students’ natural desire to know about their surroundings is the best way to help them want to keep learning.

You might also do a class project about a topic related to marine biology before your class attends the camp. Incorporate mini-lessons around a theme connected to topics they’ll learn about at camp, and your students will learn academic skills as well as want to keep learning about marine biology.

When your students arrive at marine biology camp, they will get to see in person what you’ve been discussing in class. They will be ready to ask questions about their natural environment, to observe, and to make hypotheses about what they see. Asking good questions to guide observation is important for scientists, and with some preparation, your students will be ready to make the most of their visit to the island. They will be able to work as scientists do to conduct their own field research and to answer their own questions about nature.

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