Engaging Youth Outdoors with the Science Adventure School

Child holding and aiming a bow and arrow

One of the driving goals behind the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative (OEDC) is to expand outdoor educational opportunities. This means helping kids step away from screens and inspiring them to get outdoors, instead. At the OEDC, we know just how much West Virginia’s great outdoors has to offer and we want our state’s youth to know and appreciate it too! We believe getting outside can aid children’s learning, wellness and sense of adventure. That’s why we developed the Science Adventure School. Keep reading to learn more about this outdoor youth program.

What is the Science Adventure School?   

The Science Adventure School is a program put on by West Virginia University and supported by the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative. It is a four-day, three-night program that focuses on hands-on STEM and environmental science learning. It’s an experiential education camp that encourages kids to get excited about the great outdoors while learning in the process! 

What kind of activities does the program include? 

We’re proud to offer students a camp agenda full of diverse and engaging activities. The curriculum design behind the Science Adventure School integrates three different programs:

  • WVU Science Behind the Sport, which focuses on STEM principles in the context of outdoor activities such as cycling, archery and ziplining, 
  • An ecology curriculum that focuses on environmental research,
  • And a focus on experiential education that is designed to help students transition to middle school with confidence and motivation.  

Who Can Participate in the Science Adventure School?

The Science Adventure School is for students living in West Virginia who are at the beginning of their sixth grade year. The outdoor program is a fun way for kids to get outside of their comfort zone, face new challenges and make new friends along the way. One of our goals is to help students feel confident and excited about starting sixth grade. 

Where does the Science Adventure School take place?   

The home base for the Science Adventure School is the Summit Bechtel Reserve. “The Summit” as we like to call it, was built in 2010 and boasts a number of different program venues across its 10,000 acres. Some of our favorite offerings include the Sustainability Tree House, an archery range, a zip canopy tour and so much more. To learn more about the facility, click here

How do I sign my child up for the Science Adventure School? 

We’d love to have your child join our program! To learn more about the Science Adventure School or contact the School, visit the OEDC website here. You can also learn more about the Science Adventure School’s staff here.