Summer Camps at the Interurban Railway Museum

The Interurban Railway Museum, located in historic downtown Plano’s Haggard Park, announced this week a summer camp partnership with the University of Texas at Arlington. The week-long camps are designed for grades 1–6 and run the week of June 5 through the week of July 31.

The “All Aboard Summer Camps” offer a variety of courses:

Mad Scientist
From 1908-1948 the Plano train depot and substation (now the Interurban Railway Museum) powered trains and sold tickets to the famous Car 360 train! In this exciting camp kids will be “electrified” as they learn about the history of Plano’s very own electrical train system that ran through all of North Texas. Campers also get to build their own light switch and circuit power to get those trains running back on schedule, and will create a lightning bolt, circuits, insulators and conductors.

Creative Writing
Does your child have a story inside, but doesn’t know how to get it out? Or maybe he already has stacks of journals? It’s time to take his creative technique to the next level. From 1908-1948 the thriving means of transportation in Plano was the Interurban Railway. Explore the eclectic details of all the historic artifacts the Interurban Railway Museum has to offer. In this camp, students will learn about word usage, grammar, story structure and psychology as they craft a short story using what they have learned.

LEGO® Robotics
In 1908 there were no computers to help the engineers create the trains of the Plano train depot! Your child will learn all about the engineers who started the Interurban Railway without a computer, and will then use our computers and LEGOs to engineer his or her own constructions. In this camp, students will learn basic programming skills using a simple visual programming interface as they use the LEGO® WeDo set and software to build different robot projects each day.

A University of Texas at Arlington sumer camper // photo courtesy UT Arlington

Texas Weather
Who knows Texas weather better than a railway conductor himself? In this course students will explore the crazy weather in Texas! Your child will become a meteorologist by making his own wind meter, scientifically measuring rain fall, and using a real thermometer to record daily temperature. Want to know what a true meteorologist does and understand what they are saying? Students will walk away wanting to be the next storm chasers in North Texas!

Police Forensics
Crime aboard the Interurban! A crime has occurred on the Interurban, and it’s time for campers to put their detective skills to work and help the conductor figure out just what has happened aboard his train. Hurry before time runs out and another crime happens! Campers will use deductive reasoning and the scientific method to uncover facts at a crime scene. They will learn methods of evidence collection, as well as the tools and techniques that forensic scientists use to solve crimes.

Movie Magic
Lights, camera, magic! The Interurban Railway Museum will be transformed into a live movie set. Take a look behind the scenes and learn how movie makers use makeup, miniature models and computer graphics to make spaceships fly and fantastic creatures come to life. In this camp, students will learn about filming, special effects, stage directions and acting, as well as how to use 3D graphics software and blue screen technology while filming their effects before using graphics programs to turn them into something spectacular. On the final day of camp, parents are invited to arrive 30 minutes early to enjoy a presentation.

Historical and scientific exhibits at the Interurban Railway Museum // photo Jennifer Shertzer

Fun With Engineering and Engineering Adventures
Ever wondered how machines and buildings in the world around you work? Your child will learn how everyday structures (like bridges) and exciting vehicles (like submarines) are put together by electrical, mechanical, chemical and civil engineers. Join the Interurban Railway Engineers and help them design new tracks for their trains and solve civil engineering problems that the railway could face.

Earth Rocks
Ever wondered about the difference between rocks and amber? Or why amber has insects trapped in it, while rocks are more likely to have fossils? Or what makes a geode sparkle? Or why quartz crystals have such jagged edges? In this camp, students will learn about earth science, identifying rocks, and different forms of crystals.

Model rail station at the Interurban // photo Jennifer Shertzer

Cityscape
In this fun, expanded civil engineering community camp, campers will use colorful, Roominate® building kits to explore their creative side while learning hands-on how houses are put together. They will also learn about circuits and the systems that keep a community running. They will be introduced to design principles that make a community both attractive and functional, and will decorate a community to suit their taste and work cooperatively. Dollhouses are meant to be constructed and deconstructed for hours and hours of fun after the class concludes, and when camp ends all dollhouses will be disassembled to transport home.

Magnet
All aboard! Campers will learn to make their own compass with a magnet to navigate on the rails of the Interurban Rails. Students will also also get to make magnetic slime, hold magnetic car races and even have a magnetic scavenger hunt!

Summer Camp Info and Registration >
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