MSI’s summer learning program fights summer learning loss

SHARE MSI’s summer learning program fights summer learning loss

One of the experiments has children wearing different kinds of gloves while they try to assemble blocks underwater, to simulate how hard it is for astronauts to perform certain tasks. | Museum of Science and Industry photo

School may be out for summer, but the learning shouldn’t stop, according to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Concerns that kids lose a few months of learning over the summer spurred the creation of the museum’s Summer Brain Games program, a free eight-week at-home science summer camp that started this week.

Each week features a different experiment that can be done with items that can be found around the home or at a craft store. For the program’s fourth year, the experiments focus on space exploration, according to the museum.

This year, kids will build a water-powered rocket, design a contraption to protect an “egg-stronaut” when it’s dropped and fashion a spectroscope from a cereal box, CD and aluminum foil.

Families can register for the program online and follow along at home or attend Summer Brain Games events at one of 18 Chicago Public Library branches.

Kendra Mealy Wilk, a librarian at the Greater Grand Crossing branch, runs a yearly summer learning program designed to combat summer learning loss that features many of the museum’s activities. She said the kids she works with appreciate the creative projects.

“They’re very good about designing challenges that explore scientific principles, but easy enough that kids will actually do them,” Wilk said.

“It’s a really wonderful way for kids to explore scientific concepts in a fun way. There’s such a focus on trying to get prepared for the testing regimen they have to take, the more fun and hands-on activities get set aside [at school],” Wilk said.

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