NOAA 2003-R814
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani
NOAA News Releases 2003
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Middle-school-age children in Seattle will have an opportunity to get hands-on science experience with scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sand Point facility June 23-27 in the agency’s first science camp for kids.

The pilot project is the brainchild of Lt. Cmdr Thomas Callahan, NOAA Corps, science coordinator with NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, National Ocean Service, in Seattle. Callahan sent a proposal to NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher Jr. (USN, ret.), who provided $15,000 in a special outreach grant to fund the project. Two educational coordinators and three middle school science teachers worked with the NOAA scientists to develop age-appropriate projects and activities; two additional teachers will serve as camp counselors. The camp is free to the 100 children, ages 10-12, who are attending.

“This is an ambitious project, but with the collective efforts of a terrific bunch of enthusiastic people, I feel confident it will be a great success,” Callahan said. “We want to show kids what NOAA is all about and how NOAA science affects their lives, whether through protecting the coastal zones and marine life, providing daily weather forecasts, or managing the local fisheries. They’ll also see that scientists are ‘real’ people, and that science can be fun and exciting. What better way to recruit future NOAA scientists!”

The children will be divided into five groups, each led by a middle school science teacher/counselor. The groups will rotate to a different office each day to participate in activities that explore the mysteries of our oceans and atmosphere. Topics will include exploring the oceans, protecting salmon and sea lions, forecasting the weather, restoring marine environments, and charting shipwrecks and the sea floor. On the last day of camp, the kids will conduct a “research cruise” with vessels they’ve constructed from cardboard boxes. This final activity will challenge them to work together to complete their cruise and use all they have learned during the week.

The science camp supports NOAA’s environmental literacy, outreach, and education priority for the 21st century, under the NOAA Strategic Plan.

“We hope to offer the camp each year in Seattle, as well as in other areas of the country that have a number of NOAA facilities and scientists,” Callahan said. “How well we do this year may help determine how quickly we achieve that goal.”

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA, please visit

NOTE TO EDITORS: The camp will be held at NOAA’s Sand Point Facility, 7600 Sand Point Way, NE, Seattle, WA, June 23-27, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you would like to visit any of the activities, please contact Janet Sears at (206) 526-6172.