Wonderopolis® is putting a new twist on an old tradition this summer. Created to combat summer learning loss, a troubling trend of children forgetting a significant amount of what they learned during the school year, Camp What-A-Wonder is a free virtual program to engage families in learning while school is not in session.
A renowned study by Harris Cooper, then a professor of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri, estimated that summer loss for all students equals about one month on a grade-level equivalent scale. Low-income students are documented to experience even higher levels of loss.
To lessen this potential loss, Cooper, currently a professor at Duke University, suggests parents work with children during the summer months by engaging in small, individualized programs. Children spend five times as much time outside school as they do in the classroom — most heavily concentrated in the summer — so parents are the best ones to solve summer learning loss if they have the tools they need.
Wonder Campers participating in Camp What-A-Wonder will be eligible to win fun participation prizes!
Camp What-A-Wonder convenes each Thursday from June 23 through August 11, when Wonderopolis.org transforms into a camp environment with exciting backgrounds and a new Wonder of the Day® focused on the following camp experiences:
June 23: Happy Campers
Get ready for useful outdoor skills and tips while learning the lay of the land at Camp What-A-Wonder! Something every camper should learn early is just what poison ivy looks like.
June 30: Creepy Crawling Critters
One thing that is abundant at camp that you can never get rid of is BUGS! This week campers can get up close and personal with their summer companions when they find out if a praying mantis really prays.
July 7: Campfire Cooking
Wonder Mess Hall is open for business offering fun facts about cooking in the wilderness. No campfire is complete without s’mores! Learn where these traditional treats got their name.
July 14: Spooky Stories
Harnessing the imagination around the campfire is a rite of passage at camp. This is the week to help encourage storytelling by encouraging campers to share their favorite ghost story.
July 21: Team What-A-Wonder
Games and sports occupy a lot of what campers experience while at camp. Learn the powers of teamwork and find out just how many people can play the camp classic, tug of war.
July 28: Craft-A-Palooza
Another staple of any summer camp experience is the variety of arts and crafts activities available. Campers can really tap into their creativity and get their hands dirty when they learn how to make paint out of berries.
August 4: Awesome Adventures
Nature hikes and other outdoor explorations are great sources for wondering at camp. Hiking comes with the camping territory. Learn about the wonders that a night hike will unveil.
August 11: Talent Show
No camp experience is complete without a talent show. Everyone’s invited to perform! Campers can find out just how a voice can break glass and tout their own talents in the comments section.
Parent Campfire Sessions: June 23 to August 11
Don’t miss Wonderopolis’ weekly Campfire Sessions — a one-hour opportunity for parents to gather and discuss related topics with a facilitator. The topics will focus on the same weekly themes at camp and will take place on Twitter on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EDT.