Summer Programs

messy fun

Spend part of your summer with us at the ESC. Students can participate in a variety of classes that feature hands-on, interactive learning. Our small group structure allows students an opportunity to dive deep into their learning and get individualized attention. All classes are taught by experts in the field to further enhance the experience. Students particularly enjoy the daily animal encounters!


Pre-School and Elementary School Programs

Seedlings Camp

For Preschool Students Ages 3 and 4 as of March 2014 (NOTE: All participants must be toilet trained. This is a drop-off class.)
Seedlings will work together to care for a garden and explore the outdoors here at ESC. Seedlings will also participate in songs, cooking, and crafts to enhance their understanding of the plants growing around us.

Sprouts Camp

For Elementary Students Entering Kindergarten and 1st Grade
Sprouts will work with ESC staff to plant and care for a garden. Students will enjoy stories, cooking and hands on activities while exploring the world around them. Campers will select appropriate species for the garden as well as plant, maintain and plan for the garden’s future.

Seed to Table Camp

For Students Entering Grades 2, 3, 4 and 5
Campers work with Queens Botanical Garden scientists and ESC staff to plant and care for a garden, harvest the crops and prepare healthy and delicious foods with their bounty as they explore design elements that are critical to a garden's success. Campers are engaged in selecting appropriate species for the garden as well as planting, maintaining and planning for its future.

Middle School Programs

Hydroponics with Cornell University Cooperative Extension

For Students entering Grades 6, 7, and 8
Campers will work with Cornell University Scientists and ESC staff to learn about the science of growing food hydroponically to gain a better understanding of carbon footprint reduction by growing food utilizing this method of production. Students will also conduct experiments to see how to change the growth rate of food production and learn about pondaponics and aquaponics. At the end of their sessions, students will have crops to harvest and enjoy.

High School Programs

Botany: An Introduction to Plants and Their Importance in Society

For Students entering Grades 10, 11 and 12
In partnership with SUNY Old Westbury, ESC offers a 5-week, 4-credit lecture/laboratory course in botany; plants and society. This class introduces students to the diversity of form and function of plants. It will emphasize sustainability and plants' importance in society. Group and individual laboratory projects will include the use of light and dissecting microscopes, study of photosynthesis and cellular respiration, cultivation of common vegetables and exploration of campus vegetation. Students spend one day each week on the SUNY Old Westbury campus for labs and fieldwork. Students who successfully pass this course will earn 4 SUNY College credits.

Urban DNA Barcoding Project

For Students entering Grades 10, 11 and 12
ESC is pleased to offer a unique summer opportunity for high school teachers and their students to learn the Urban Barcoding Project from leading experts through the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, DNA Learning Center. Through an application process, six teachers, along with their team of students (4-5 students/teacher), will be selected to join us for a 2-week session. During the two weeks, teachers and their student teams will kick off their yearlong research project by exploring the local environment, the importance of the ecosystem and the concept of DNA barcoding. Teams will begin to understand the importance of species identification as it relates to this ecosystem by completing fieldwork to gather samples for analysis, and then in the lab, teams will learn lab protocols and procedures to extract the DNA from their samples. Their extractions will be sent to an offsite lab for sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. Once species identification has been established, participants will continue researching the ecosystem and their species to uncover the interdependence of species to support a healthy ecosystem.

Hydroponics with Cornell University Cooperative Extension

For Students entering Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12
Campers will work with Cornell University Scientists and ESC staff to learn about the science of growing food hydroponically to gain a better understanding of carbon footprint reduction by growing food utilizing this method of production. Students will also conduct experiments to see how to change the growth rate of food production and learn about pondaponics and aquaponics. At the end of their sessions, students will have crops to harvest and enjoy.