Advanced Bug Camp for Kids

This camp, for 10 to 14 year-olds, is designed to help kids understand the scientific method and its strengths and limitations. Campers will visit different labs to observe research using insects and conduct experiments of their own.

Advanced Bug Camp will not be held in 2018.

Advanced Bug Camp

The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16801

You've experienced Bug Camp, done the 4-H entomology project, helped out at the Great Insect Fair, and still have not gotten your fill of bugs. Is there anything more? Now there is--Advanced Bug Camp For Kids!


Advanced Bug Camp For Kids is open to children ages 10-14 who have already attended Bug Camp For Kids, and/or particpated in the "Catch the Bug" 4-H Project, IPM Pest Control, or can provide a letter from a teacher indicating experience and enthusiasm. Therefore, in order to allow as many children as possible the opportunity to participate in the Advanced Bug Camp For Kids program, we will give priority to children who have not previously participated in this program.

Enrollment is limited. 

About the Camp

Advanced Bug Camp for Kids is a day camp that allows young insect lovers to go beyond collecting and identifying insects. This Camp is designed to focus on insect biology and explore scientific research, using insects as the catalyst. The goal of the camp is to help kids understand the scientific method and its strengths and limitations. Campers will visit different labs where research is being done using insects. During these visits they will be encouraged to observe carefully and develop questions. These questions will be used as the basis for designing and conducting research using insects. Campers also will design innovative and creative ways to share their research and results with each other.

Campers will be given individual attention and as much hands-on experience as possible. The program will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Penn State's University Park Campus. The program is taught by faculty, staff and graduate students in the Department of Entomology. This camp is limited to 16 participants. Parents or guardians are responsible for providing a box lunch with beverage and dropping off and picking up the children promptly at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Overview of Topics

  • Learn how to identify insects!
  • Compile your own insect collection!
  • Visit real entomology research labs!
  • Conduct scientific experiments with bugs!


Day 1, Monday--Discover "Discovery"

  • Observations and questions
  • Expand Your View of "Entomology"
    Campers will visit and explore four different labs on campus that use insects to make scientific discoveries:
    • Frost Entomology Museum
    • Insect Physiology Laboratory
    • Medical/Veterinary Laboratory
    • Agriculture Field and Greenhouse
  • Daily wrap-up: "The questions of the day"

Day 2, Tuesday--It's All About Asking the Right Questions

  • Working in teams of two, with a graduate student mentor, campers will:
    • Identify a question they would like to answer.
    • Develop a hypothesis (a theory that explains a set of facts and can be tested by further investigation).
    • Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.
    • Explore available resources-including books, the Internet, and people in the entomology department-to help define the question and to get background information.
  • Let the Experiments Begin!
    Teams, with the help of their mentors, will design and conduct experiments to answer their questions and test their hypotheses.

Day 3, Wednesday--The Results Are In!

  • Experimental data will be collected and interpreted. Teams will be encouraged to seek out expertise (including that of entomology faculty members) to help interpret their data when necessary. Experiments may be redesigned and rerun if necessary.

Day 4, Thursday--Extra, Extra! Hear and See All About It!

  • Campers will share their experiments and results with each other in innovative and creative ways that they design. These may include computer presentations, posters, or slide shows.

Fee and Registration

The fee covers instruction, materials, camp photo, T-shirt, and diploma. A limited number of scholarships may be available to students in need. Payment of fees and completion of a medical history and release form are required to complete registration. Registrations must be accompanied with payment and will be accepted until the camp is full. Registrations will be acknowledged by mail. Full refunds will be made for cancellations received on or before June 7th. After this date, the parent or guardian will be held responsible for the $40 late cancellation fee.

Registration Information

You may pay online with any major credit card (Master Card, Visa, Discover or American Express) or you may mail your check for $260 made payable to 'Penn State' to:
Advanced Bug Camp for Kids
Attn: Nick Sloff
501 Ag Sciences and Industries Building
The Pennsyvlania State University
University Park, PA 16802

University Policy

The University may cancel or postpone any course or activity because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is canceled or postponed, the University will refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any related costs, charges, or expenses.


Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Conferences and Short Courses 814-865-8301; TTY 814-865-1204 in advance of your participation or visit.