News Column

Chase the Lightning at Storm Chasers Summer Camp

July 14, 2014

BEMIDJI, Minn., July 14 -- Bemidji State University issued the following news:

Bemidji State University, Bemidji'sHeadwaters Science Center and NASA are coming together to host the first Storm Chasers Summer Day Camp.

The camp will take place July 28-Aug. 1 on the BSU campus. Participants will be engaged in a variety of activities that align with Academic Standards in Science related to Earth and space science, and also include topics from NASA's Innovations in Climate Education project.

Camp activities throughout the week include lessons on Earth systems, weather and climate, global versus local weather patterns, human and natural influences on weather and climate, and weather observation and prediction. Participants will also be able to interpret weather, radar and satellite weather maps, identify cloud types and make predictions based on weather data.

Susan Joy, director of the Headwaters science center and camp coordinator, is working with Dr. Tim Kroeger, professor of biology and director of Bemidji State's Center for Environmental, Earth and Space Studies, for a number of the camp's activities, including a high-altitude weather balloon launch.

"Dr. Kroeger invited the science center to submit a proposal as part of BSU's space grant for an outreach activity that aligned with NASA's education and outreach goals in the winter of 2012," she said. "The Storm Chasers camp is the result of our proposal."

Bemidji State is an active member of the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium, part of the NASA-funded National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program which was founded in 1989. Though NASA is not directly involved in the camp, the agency's curriculum will be used during camp activities.

"BSU is currently in our 24th consecutive year of Space Grant funding," Kroeger said. "At BSU we use this funding to support scholarships for students earning degrees in science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) disciplines, student and faculty research, various higher education programs including our high-altitude ballooning program, continuing education opportunities for elementary and secondary-school teachers in STEM disciplines, and outreach activities. The Storm Chasers camp is one of those outreach activities."

The Storm Chasers Summer Camp's Space Grant funding will help offset costs related to camp facilities and faculty and provide supplies and scholarships for participants. BSU plans further collaborations with the Headwaters Science Center on additional projects related to the Space Grant throughout the fall.

Camp registration information

The five-day Storm Chasers Summer Camp carries a registration fee of $200. Both day-camp and overnight options are available. Registration is available online ( and is due by June 21. Some scholarships are available; for more information on scholarships, contact the Headwaters Science Center.

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