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Natural History

From mega quakes to alien invasions, debunk fact from fiction in popular sci-fi doomsday scenarios. Observe climate change in a bottle, build your own asteroids, and study real-world zombies. Examine real fossils to understand mass extinction, and learn how ecosystems survive and adapt to extreme forces of nature. Head into the woods on an extended day trip to Powdermill Nature Reserve, where you will prove your mettle in the face of an impending zombie apocalypse… better safe than sorry! 

Day trip day to Powdermill Nature Reserve: museum pick up at 6:30 p.m. Late afternoon snack provided.

The last day to register for this camp is June 6, 2018.

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Enjoy a slimy week of science, and discover some of nature’s coolest critters. Meet weird prehistoric creatures, get your hands on mystery slime, watch a slithery snake, and more! Delve into the movements, habitats, and senses of animals with daily experiments. Build an obstacle course for worms. Get creative with chemistry to test scientific phenomena. Mix emulsions, and test what floats in slimy substances.

The last day to register for this camp is June 6, 2018.

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Do you have what it takes to survive a pandemic? Find out as you learn how to treat and contain outbreaks of real and fictional diseases—from chickenpox to zombie-ism. Learn about virus transmission and how to identify “patient zero.” Improve your skills by learning about basic first aid, nutrition, and hydration needs and what to do when technology breaks down. Test your new survival techniques on a day trip to Powdermill Nature Reserve.

Day trip day to Powdermill Nature Reserve: museum pick up at 6:30 p.m. Late afternoon snack provided.

The last day to register for this camp is June 13, 2018.

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Build your animal care skills in this camp for pet enthusiasts. Learn about different types of animals that can be kept as pets, from familiar companions like cats and dogs to exotic birds and reptiles. Study how pets grow and change as they get older, and design the ideal habitat for your favorite animal. Turn the camp classroom into a menagerie, and explore the secret life of pets.

The last day to register for this camp is June 13, 2018.

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Get an up-close look at Dinosaurs in Their Time, find out where those big bones came from, and learn all about prehistoric animals. Study specimens, make fossil casts, and dig for replica bones like a real paleontologist. Meet the creatures that roamed with the dinosaurs—early mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

Choose morning or afternoon session.

The last day to register for this camp is June 13, 2018.

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Have you always dreamed of being a veterinarian? Investigate basic biology throughout the animal kingdom. Learn what you can do to help animals stay healthy—in the wild and in your backyard! Design and create idyllic habitats for animals in the museum’s popular living collection. See if you can hold your own with animals of all shapes and sizes on an animal-themed day trip to Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Day trip day to Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium: museum pick-up at 3 p.m.

The last day to register for this camp is June 13, 2018.

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Investigate healthy habitats and animal care for diverse species like bugs, lizards, and mammals. Learn about nutrition in the wild, and perform experiments to uncover the ingredients in dog food. Analyze the behavior of animals large and small on a day trip to Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Compare animal anatomy by examining skeletons from museum specimens. Try your hand at real and/or digital dissections of insects, fish, and mammals.

Day trip day to Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium: museum pick-up at 3 p.m.

The last day to register for this camp is June 13, 2018.

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Get an up-close look at Dinosaurs in Their Time, find out where those big bones came from, and learn all about prehistoric animals. Study specimens, make fossil casts, and dig for replica bones like a real paleontologist. Meet the creatures that roamed with the dinosaurs—early mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

Choose morning or afternoon session.

The last day to register for this camp is June 13, 2018.

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Investigate frogs, newts, worms, and other creepy crawlies that live in and around ponds. Collect real specimens, and engineer a mini-habitat so you can study them like a scientist. Experience a new perspective on pond ecosystems as you find out what a frog’s dinner tastes like in the optional edible bug activity. Build and test your own frog boats and model beaver dam.

Recommended for kids who have finished a year of full-day kindergarten or full-day child care. Pre-camp and post-camp care are not available for campers in the Hi Fives! program. Campers must be picked up by 4 p.m.

The last day to register for this camp is June 20, 2018.

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Discover the amazing power of plants. Find out how people from different cultures use plants to make delicious treats, creative clothing, and even potions and poisons. Get groovy and design your own Warhol-inspired flower artwork. Test your sense of smell, and make a plant-based perfume. Learn to identify common Pennsylvania wildflowers, and start your own herbarium by collecting specimens on a nature hike through nearby Schenley Park.

The last day to register for this camp is June 20, 2018.

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Come and catch them all! Join Pokéteam Carnegie to explore the virtual and natural world of Pokémon. Learn about different Pokémon, and examine their habitats to discover what makes them strong. Compare the life cycle of “pokébugs” to real insects from the museum’s hidden collections. Build and hatch your own creature egg. Create your own “pokéball” and Pokémon creature based on real features of amazing animals. Go on museum and Schenley Park quests to find Pokémon.

The last day to register for this camp is June 20, 2018.

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Plunge into experiments about the physics and chemistry of H2O as you develop your own mega-bubble solution, test for acids and bases, get cracking with ice, and more. Venture to nearby Schenley Park to hunt for microscopic pond life. Design your way through a boat building race, water balloon drops, and other friendly challenges. Take a day trip to investigate aquatic habitats around Pine Creek, and take a dip in the North Park swimming pool.

Day trip to North Park: museum pick up at 5:30 p.m. Late afternoon snack is provided.

The last day to register for this camp is June 20, 2018.

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Magic and science are about to collide! Craft your own potions, and discover which concoctions are for friends and which are for foes. Investigate the science behind expanding elixirs, and experiment with changing ordinary metals to gold in a lesson in alchemy as you explore transfiguration in the natural world. Compare magical creatures to those of the non-magical world as you study fire-breathing dragons, mystical mermaids, and more!

The last day to register for this camp is June 20, 2018.

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Explore how unique plant and animal adaptations inspire green engineering solutions that address severe droughts, major floods, deep freezes, and intense heat. Through hands-on design challenges, learn how engineers use biomimicry to create sustainable innovations. See the building blocks of a green tech future in action today, right here in Pittsburgh. Test ideas to combat climate change, and cool off on a swimming day trip to North Park.

Day trip to North Park: museum pick up at 5:30 p.m. Late afternoon snack is provided.

The last day to register for this camp is June 20, 2018.

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Design a character, and immerse yourself in this choose-your-own-adventure camp experience. Travel back to the dawn of time to see if you have what it takes to escape extinction. Work with museum experts to deepen your understanding of the driving forces behind extinction events in Earth’s past, then work with your time-traveling crew to take on challenges that will test your knowledge, reasoning skills, and teamwork.

No camp on July 4. Camp is in session on July 2-3 and July 5-6.

The last day to register for this camp is June 27, 2018.

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If you love to get messy, dream of running obstacle courses, and do not mind a little slime, this is the camp for you! Focus on the senses, and explore gross sights, sounds, and smells in daily teamwork challenges. Meet with scientists who study organisms that live in the muck, and discover what we can learn from an animal’s scat. Experiment with the elements required to turn your leftovers into spectacular soil by making your own home composting bin.

No camp on July 4. Camp is in session on July 2-3 and July 5-6.

The last day to register for this camp is June 27, 2018.

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Piece together a prehistoric mystery as you explore the science of paleontology. Map and excavate a mock dig site, wrap your finds in plaster jackets, and transport them to the laboratory classroom. Build your hands-on fossil prep skills by reconstructing and analyzing bones. Stack up your finds against the specimens in Dinosaurs in Their Time to discover what bone you have found, which dinosaur it came from, and how that part of the skeleton functioned.

No camp on July 4. Camp is in session on July 2-3 and July 5-6.

The last day to register for this camp is June 27, 2018.

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Adventure into the Land of Storybook Science! Read, act, and dance along to beloved stories from reality and fantasy. Hunt for hidden treasures in Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems. Search for fairy rings on a nature walk around the museum. Develop your own recipe for dragon drool, and compare mythical beasts to the dinosaurs in our collection. Create your own fantastic creature, and act out an original story.

Recommended for kids who have finished a year of full-day kindergarten or full-day child care. Pre-camp and post-camp care are not available for campers in the Hi Fives! program. Campers must be picked up by 4 p.m.

The last day to register for this camp is July 4, 2018.

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Get ready to make a difference! Become an environmental champion, and learn how to protect wildlife in the city and beyond. Participate in regular nature hikes into Schenley Park and the surrounding areas. Study native species in their habitats. Discover how animals adapt to life in the city—identifying which species flourish and which need protection. Check out environmental science in action behind the scenes at ALCOSAN to learn about the green technology being employed to protect Pittsburgh’s water quality.

Day trip to ALCOSAN: museum pick-up at 3 p.m.

The last day to register for this camp is July 4, 2018.

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Get an inside look at paleontology, from the gigantic Diplodocus to the tiny Archaeopteryx. Cover land, sea, and sky while searching for unusual pterosaurs, ichthyosaurs, birds, and mammals. Peek into PaleoLab, where museum scientists work on fossils every day. Go on a dinosaur dig. Make a mask of your favorite prehistoric beast, and move like a dinosaur in a special relay race.

The last day to register for this camp is July 4, 2018.

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