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Who wants to be a scientist and perform cool experiments? SciQuest, Dallas Arboretum’s newest summer STEM camp, gives students entering the 5th to 7th grades the opportunity to build their STEM skills through 3D printing, VR technology and other fun activities that allow to them explore the roles of different scientists each day.  This camp is a collaboration between the University of North Texas, NASA and the Arboretum.  The camp takes place this week through Friday, July 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Dallas Arboretum.

Campers learn what it takes to be an astronomer (Monday) and explore the solar system, lunar phases, and study the scale and motions of the Earth, sun and moon as they create materials for observing the upcoming lunar eclipse on August 21st.   Learning how engineers work (Tuesday) to solve problems as they relate to designing new technologies for space travel, rovers and satellites results in designing tools on 3D printers, exploring how virtual reality is used to train astronauts for working in outer space and the use of ThinkCAD in design.  

They can be a geologist (Wednesday), a meteorologist (Thursday) and a biologist (Friday) and explore the many ways these scientist use science in their career. Friday’s camp session includes examining the precious commodity, water, as they head to the award-winning Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden’s Texas Native Wetlands gallery to conduct a study and examine the diversity and abundance of life in wetland water samples. Next, the campers will head to the Habitats Gallery to further investigate how organisms are adapted to survive in their environment.

Allyson Marbut, Dallas Arboretum vice president of education, said, “Our camps are educational, practical and fun for students, and we hope that by exposing them to the way science works, seeing how exciting it is and learning that they, too, can do science, they will consider the possibilities of pursuing STEM as a career.   When UNT approached us and asked us if we were interested in partnering with them and NASA to create this experience we were so excited.  We want to help students make the connection between what they learn and how they can apply it to an exciting career and this was the perfect partnership and means to do so.”

Here are a few of the activities campers are doing:

  • Participate in experiments and investigations to explore how studying the earth helps scientists understand space.
  • Experience space travel with virtual reality goggles provided by University of North Texas and NASA.
  • Learn to use a 3D printer and print their very own creation to take home.
  • Explore engineering, geology, meteorology and biology as it relates to the earth and space.
  • Prepare for the August 21st solar eclipse and how to create and use the tools to observe it.

For those interested in learning about summer camps and ongoing educational field trips, visit


About the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden:

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218.  The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 3-12 and free for Arboretum members and children two and under. There is an additional cost of $3 per person for entrance into the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. On-site parking is $15; pre-purchased online parking is $8. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum.  The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department.  WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum.