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Science After School (SAS) Consumers Guide  

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Camp in a Can Insect Adventures

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Review Synopsis: by science content expert Leif Asper

Camp in a Can: Insect Adventures, from MPR Museum Consulting, is exactly what it claims to be: —a fully integrated, ready to use science program in a "can" complete with curricula, project materials, and even an instructional DVD. If there is a negative side to Camp in a Can it is the high cost and the fact that many of the materials will be consumed after only one use. Still, at less than $15 per student, MPR Museum Consulting has produced a solid, all-inclusive science curriculum that can be successfully implemented in a variety of environments by most, if not all, program facilitators and educators.
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Camp in a Can: Insect Adventures, from MPR Museum Consulting, is exactly what it claims to be—a fully integrated, ready to use science program in a "can" (mine actually came in a box) complete with curricula, project materials, and even an instructional DVD. The can contains lessons and materials for as many as 12 participants to conduct 25 insect-themed activities (okay, spiders are included too). Expansion packs are also available. In fact, the only things the curriculum developers leave out are "crayons or markers, scissors and glue—things most teachers have taking up space in their limited storage closets."

This unit also contains a well-written Leader's Manual, which provides a thorough outline of the activities and an instructional DVD in case you need a visual. The result of such a comprehensive resource is a 25-lesson insect unit that could be successfully delivered in an afterschool setting by virtually anyone—teacher or nonteacher. The detailed Leader's Manual and DVD provide ample scaffolding for conducting the projects and lessons, like "Invent a Camo-Critter" and "Insector Collector," which have been clearly chosen for their ability to engage and motivate kids.

"Camp in a Can" is somewhat expensive, and many of the materials will be consumed after only one use. Still, at less than $15 per student, MPR Museum Consulting has produced a solid, all-inclusive science curriculum which can be successfully implemented in a variety of environments by most, if not all, program facilitators and educators. My only regret is that Insect Adventures is currently the only "Camp in a Can" title available—I can't wait to see what they come up with next!