Posted 1:09 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022

UWL's Hands-On Science camp June 22 and 23 will expose middle school students to a wide range of activities related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

UWL youth camp offers crash course in STEM fields

From making bouncy balls to solving a kidnapping, middle school students can gain hands-on experiences in the STEM fields during UW-La Crosse’s Hands-On Science camp June 22 and 23.

The camp, intended for those entering grades 6-8 in fall 2022, offers a range of activities for students of all interests and knowledge levels. It can serve as a springboard for students interested in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“This is an amazing opportunity for middle school students to be active in classroom and lab activities on a college campus,” says Susan Kelly, a professor of mathematics and statistics at UWL. “All workshops are small-group hands-on activities taught by UWL faculty and staff.”

Projects include:

  • "Bouncy Ball Factory": Engineer your own ball and see how well it bounces
  • "The Case of the Kidnapped Eagle": Collect clues and perform hands-on chemistry to solve the case of UWL’s missing mascot
  • "How Many Fish Are in the Sea?": Develop methods for determining large numbers without doing a lot of counting
  • "It’s Electric!": Make objects move without touching them, build circuits with light bulbs and motors, and make an electromagnet.

This is the inaugural year of the Hands-On Science camp, which rolls together two long-running science camps — one for boys and one for girls — that used to be separate. The camps were canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.

“I think everyone involved this year will agree that it feels great to offer this opportunity to young students again,” Kelly notes. “With local partnerships and incredible dedication from the many UWL faculty and staff who have stepped up to design and teach workshops each year, I am hopeful that this camp will continue for many years to come.”

To register, visit Some scholarships are also available to students, while funding lasts.

The camp is funded in part through grants from Ingersoll Rand, Gundersen Health System and Trane.

For more information, including a full list of activities and directions for applying for scholarships, visit

About Graduate & Extended Learning

UWL Graduate & Extended Learning supports faculty in offering community engagement opportunities on campus, by handling logistics and administrative tasks such registration and payment, compliance with youth policy, room reservations and catering.