Three faculty members from Marshall University’s College of Science are offering hands-on science exploration experiences for middle and high school students on Marshall’s Huntington campus this summer beginning Monday, June 30.


Kids will have the opportunity to participate in fun and engaging hands-on laboratory activities during both the 4-day and 1-day camps, said Marshall Biology Professor Dr. Suzanne Strait, who is offering the camps, along with colleagues Dr. Wendy Trzyna, associate professor of biological sciences, and Dr. Mindy Armstead, assistant professor of integrated science and technology.


Depending on which camp or camps students choose, they will be interacting with and learning about microbes, the environment or skeletons.


Camps for students who will be freshmen through seniors during the 2014-2015 school year and want to explore careers in science are as follows:

Monday-Thursday, July 7-10, 1-4:30 p.m. – Microbes In, On and Around You

Dr. Wendy Trzyna, Department of Biological Sciences

Find out why microbes are the hottest single cells around by getting into the lab and culturing them! Students will be fascinated by diversity of microbes that are living everywhere around them – from their kitchen sinks and shower floors, to their cell phone covers, the foods they eat and their own bodies. The participants will culture and identify common microbes and learn a variety of microbiological laboratory techniques including the use of microscopes, preparation of microbial specimens for viewing, and tests for identification of microbes while doing fun and exciting hands-on lab activities. (16 students)


Monday-Thursday, July 14-17, 1-4:30 p.m. – Environmental Science

Dr. Mindy Armstead, Department of Integrated Sciences and Technology

This session will focus on maintaining aquatic resources for human and ecological uses. The participants will explore the beneficial uses of streams, lakes and rivers and determine whether the water in being protected for those uses. These sessions will include discussions, as well as hands-on investigation of aquatic systems and organisms. Students will get to perform water quality testing, fish identifications and other hands-on aspects of aquatic investigations. (16 students)


Monday-Thursday, July 21-24, 1-4:30 p.m. – Bones: The Forensic Evidence

Dr. Suzanne Strait, Department of Biological Sciences

This session will introduce students to the human skeleton. They will work with skeletons to learn the bones of the human skeleton and how we reconstruct their stature, age, ethnicity, gender, and more from just bones. They will even be able to prepare a skeleton of their own if interested! (16 students)


Camps for students who will be in 6th, 7th  or 8th grades during the 2014-2015 school year are as follows:

Monday-Thursday, June 30-July 3, 1-4:30 p.m. –  Microbiology

Dr. Wendy Trzyna, Department of Biological Sciences

Find out what it is like to work in a Microbiology lab as you’re introduced to the fascinating “unseen” microbial world around you! Students will have the opportunity to learn about a variety of different microbes through fun, hands-on activities. The group will be collecting, growing and observing microbes from diverse environments. Students will learn how to culture microbes, prepare samples for viewing, and perform selected tests for identifying microbes. (16 students)


Monday, July 21, 9 a.m.-Noon – Bones: Forensics Investigations

Learn about human bones and how forensic scientists are able to physically reconstruct a person using just their bones. (20 students)


Tuesday, July 22, 9 a.m.-Noon – Heart Anatomy: Pumping Blood

Students will learn how the heart works using interactive techniques and models. They’ll even have the opportunity to dissect a real deer or cow heart! (20 students)


Wednesday July 23, 9 a.m.-Noon – Water Quality

Students will learn which animals use our local water, how to conserve water resources and how to test for water quality. (20 students)


Thursday, July 24, 9 a.m.-Noon – Snakes, Turtles and More

Learn all about the amphibians and reptiles around us in West Virginia. Learn about their habitat and anatomy and how to identify local species. Opportunities include observing non-venomous species. (16 students)


“This is the first summer these educational activities are available for local kids right here in their own backyards,” Trzyna said.


Costs for the camps are $65 for a 4-day experience and $20 for a half-day camp. Other camp expenses are covered by a grant from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. For additional information and/or for an application, e-mail Strait at or Trzyna at