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Vacation & Summer Programs

Summer Educational Offerings:

STEM Lab   Discovery Camps   KampIWannaHavFun   Franklin's Guides

STEM Lab Camps

Using the STEM Lab, these camps will explore the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics throughout the summer. Take a look and find the right one for you:

C. elegans  with Fiona Sweeneystudents in the Fairbanks STEM lab

  • June 10-14, 8am-4pm for ages middle through high school. Sign up here.

This week-long camp is for middle and high school students who wish to be introduced to the world of scientific research. Participants will be introduced to topics that are essential to scientific research, such as ethics, lab safety, scientific method, and experimental design. The goal is for students to experience how a research lab operates and learn some of the advanced techniques used in STEM investigations by completing an experiment on C. elegansfrom start to finish. At the end of the week, each student will give a short presentation about their lab experiment and experience for parents and guest scientists. 

Limited to 10 students

Fee: $300 for the week


Aerial Robotics Camp: Building and Flying Drones​

  • June 24: AM session from 9-12pm, PM session from 2-5pm  
  • June 25: AM session from 9-12pm, PM session from 2-5pm
  • June 26: Both session together from 9am-5pm 

For ages 10 and up.  Sign up for AM session or Sign up for PM session  

Drones offer the chance to engineer, design and focus on experiential learning in the lab. We will explore the basics of unmanned aerial vehicles (“drones”). Students will have the opportunity to use their cognitive development and critical thinking to operate state-of-the art aircraft. The first two days will be project based learning experience about the mechanics of flight, how drones operate and how to build our own to fly.  A focus on drone safety, FAA regulations and the social responsibility of flying drones will be explored. Find out the number of ways drones are being used such as exploration on Titan, a moon of Saturn and what professional jobs use drone technology as an aid. During the last day, as a single group we will explore the basics of unmanned aerial vehicles (“drones”). Students will have the opportunity to operate state-of-the art aircraft, specifically the DJI Spark with certified drone instructor John and Hollis Munson. 

Limited to 10 students in each session. Fee: $200 for the program includes all materials.

Python Programming with Geoff & Ethan Spence 

  • July 29-August 2, 9am-3pm for ages middle through high school. Sign up here. 

This week long camp is for middle and high school students who want to take a deep-dive into digital electronics, robotics, programming, computer-aided design (CAD), and 3D printing. Participants will use the Raspberry Pi--a tiny and inexpensive computer--to learn digital circuit theory and Python programming. We'll connect and control color LED's, motors, servos, LCD displays, and more from the Raspberry Pi. We'll learn how to design 3D models using CAD software, and we'll print them on a 3D printer. We'll print the parts of a robot arm, wire it up, and control it from our Python programs. If you want to create your own circuits that interact with the real world, control those circuits with a computer, and design and produce 3D printed parts, this is the summer camp for you! The week will end with student will give a short presentation about their experience for parents and guest scientists. Limited to 10 students, $300 for the week. All materials included. 

Discovery Camp 2019: Building & ConstructionDiscovery Camp

We'll explore how both animals and people construct things from nests and homes to creating communities to accomplish things such as bees and hives. Activities are geared for kids, with plenty of play. Fairbanks Museum Discovery Camps make use of the Balch Nature School facility, Fairbanks Museum galleries, planetarium and outdoor spaces such as the butterfly house.  Please fill out this form to sign up for any week or weeks of camp

  • Animal Architecture ​  Offered July 8th-12th for 4-5 year olds & July 29th-Aug 2nd for 6-8 year olds

Have you ever wondered why some animals build nests while others dig underground burrows? Animals are amazing builders and modifiers of their environments. Through story-time, crafts and games, campers will take a close look at the many architectural masterpieces built by creatures all over the world!

  • Epic Engineering   Offered July 15th-19th for 4-5 year olds and August 5th-9th for 6-8 year olds

Discovery Camp builderHow do long bridges support the weight of heavy trucks and cars? Why do tall towers not tip over on windy days? This exciting week of camp will explore various types of human-made structures through fun crafts and activities. Come build with us!

The basics:

  • Hours: 9:00AM - 12:00PM, with extended day option to 3:00 PM                              
  • $130/student for a week of camp, extended day $25/day or $125/week
  • Sibling discount and multiple week discount of 20%
  • Campers must bring their own lunch, snack, and water bottle each day 
  • 12 students per week maximum. 6 campers in the extended day maximum. 

Additional Camp Information        

For any questions, please contact Leila Nordmann.​​​


The museum's education staff works with RecFit's KampIWannaHavFun throughout the summer. If you are interested in that specific program, please register here

Franklin's Guides  

For students ages 11-15. A maximum of 15 students are allowed but 12 is optimal number for the program. Interviews will follow once we receive your application to determine fit with our Guides program.  This year's dates are June 17 through 20 for training and June 24 through August 10 for the program ending with a sleepover. Franklin’s Guides students are expected to commit to at least one day a week. Their days start at 10am and will end at 2pm. Until the museum can provide transportation by van or bus, the staff are no longer allowed to transport students in personal cars as per our insurance carrier.  We have a museum Prius that can transport up to 4 total students.  As students apply we will be able to ascertain if Thursday field trips will be possible. 

2019 summer session is now open to new applicants.

About the program
Franklin's Guides is a student docent training program where students are ambassadors of the Museum and represent the spirit of Franklin Fairbanks when he dedicated his collections to the people of St. Johnsbury.  Franklin's Guides discover and research exhibits of their choice, then provide short tours or presentations to the public based on those exhibits.

Guides receive mentoring and support from our education team to practice their research, presentations, and public speaking skills. In return, they offer creative perspectives and new ideas that help us keep our interpretations of the collections fresh. This provides both the students and our visitors a closer look at our displays and collections.

What to expect as a Franklin's Guide

Our Guides will spend time on the main floor running existing programs, but also producing their own presentations to the public. They will have the Guides Coordinator, Museum Educators, and experts in various fields as a resource throughout the summer. The Franklin's Guides schedule runs between Monday - Friday, from 10am - 2pm, and students will be expected to commit to at least one day a week to perform presentations. We also have our Thursday Field Trips, from 2pm - 5pm which are optional, but tons of fun for us to get together for summer adventures!

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