Cooking with local produce, caring for animals and gardening are activities in upcoming middle school summer camps

Friday, March 30, 2018

OLATHE — This summer, Kansas State University's Olathe campus is offering three camps for middle school students that are designed to support advanced math and science knowledge through a lens of food safety and animal health.

The camps are for students entering sixth grade and exiting eighth grade. Students will learn about topics and careers in food safety, horticulture and animal science from Kansas State University experts and researchers in the fields.

A majority of each camp involves hands-on activities and experiments in which the campers will put their newly learned knowledge and skills to practice or gain a deeper understanding of subject matter.

Camp activities include cooking and food presentation skills; first aid skills for pets; knife safety; buying local food at the Kansas City River Market; participating in a sensory analysis test; making pet treats; learning how to read food labels and nutrition; getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kansas City Zoo; preparing lunch for parents and guardians using locally grown produce; identifying invasive plant species; learning about beekeeping and pollinators; and more.

"Middle school students will have a great time exploring the world we live in – from the food we eat to the animals that share our planet," said Laura Loyacono, director of community and education engagement at K-State Olathe. "We think it's a fun way to learn about future careers in an engaging setting."

Each camp is from 8 a.m. to noon at the K-State Olathe campus. Camps are as follows:

Fun with Food Science — From June 11-15, participants will explore the food production cycle — from growing food in the field to serving it for lunch.

All About Animals — From July 9-13, students will discover information about the health and safety of animals of all sizes.

All About Plants — From July 16-20, campers will learn about the food we grow and eat, including how to breed better vegetables and beekeeping.

Learn more and register at