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The School of Professional & Continuing Education, Department of Physics, IDLS, and the John C. Wells Planetarium will host three, week-long science based summer camps open to elementary, middle, and high school students!

Using JMU’s unique facilities such as the John C. Wells Planetarium, camp-goers will get to explore different areas of science, including biology, earth science, chemistry, forensic science, physics and astronomy and more!

Our Science Explorers Camp provides hands-on learning opportunities to 1st through 12th grade students. We seek to grow leaders and problem solvers of tomorrow by building knowledge and curiosity today! 

All teachers and students working with the campers will go through a teacher training program so that they are ready to help your children actively engage in learning! We will post more information about the schedule as it is available. 

Questions? Please contact Melissa Heatwole at or call 540/568-4226.

Elementary Full Day Camp

Full Day Camp for rising 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th grades.

Dates: July 11 - 15, 2022, 9am - 4pm 

Program Fee: $220*

*Program fee includes t-shirt and lunch on campus at D - Hall, Thursday and Friday. Monday - Wednesday, students will need to provide their own packed lunch.  

Join us as we explore patterns in science and nature! We will look at the many types of sciences that exist, and ways that art can work with science to help us learn. Visitors from the Harrisonburg Fire Department will demonstrate how they use science to fight fires. We will use our investigative skills to solve a mystery, make science crafts, watch planetarium shows, and lots more during what will be a fun week of science, art, and friends!


Middle School Full Day Camp

Full Day Camp for rising 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th grades.

Dates: July 25 - 29, 2022, 9am - 4pm

Program Fee: $250*

*Program fee includes t-shirt and lunch on campus each day. 

We will examine the ways science, math, and art intersect through a variety of experiments, projects, and activities. There will be STEM build challenges where we learn how space exploration starts as a blueprint drawing, and we'll learn how spiral patterns in nature work and are not as random as they may seem.  We'll solve a pretend crime as well as host the Harrisonburg Fire Department, who will explain and demonstrate the science of firefighting. There will be planetarium shows and lots of other fun activities. Join us for a week packed with science fun!


High School Residential Camp

Residential Camp for rising 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grades.

Dates: July 17 - 23, 2022, Sunday evening check-in, Saturday morning check-out

Program Fee: $900.00*

*Program fee includes all meals on campus, housing, field trips, and a camp t-shirt. 

Join us as we explore the various areas of science during this week-long residential camp! We'll visit the JMU Audiology clinic, take 2 off campus field trips (more info to come), watch planetarium shows, learn about the science of firefighting from the Harrisonburg Fire Department, have challenging STEM builds, and an evening star party!


Please be aware: The John C. Wells planetarium strives to bring cutting-edge science to JMU as well as to the larger Shenandoah Valley community. Hence, the staff presents established science that is based on consensus from the scientific community. We will present the scientific evidence on topics such as evolution, the Big Bang, age of the Earth, and climate change. All of our presentations, activities, and live star talks make reference to an age of the Universe that is 13.8 billion years old and that our Sun and the Solar System formed ~5 billion years ago. Our staff will not alter their presentations when discussing what some consider controversial science topics.

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