ORLANDO, Fla. – Children across Central Florida are no doubt looking forward to winter break, but for working parents, finding child care for two weeks can be a challenge.
That's why the Orlando Science Center offers Break Camps for prekindergarten through fifth-grade students. Camps are in session when Orange County Public Schools or Seminole County Public Schools are out of session for teacher work days or holiday vacations.
Education Manager of Camps and Classes Mary Kate Wilkerson says the key is making camp feel different from a regular school day.
"The last thing they want to do is engage their brain like they're in school again. So we're able to really do those hands-on activities with the kids. One of the funniest things is when the parent comes to pick up their camper early for the day, and the camper doesn't want to leave. They're having too much fun with the activities," Wilkerson said.
During the upcoming Winter Break Camp, students will work on coding with Milo the Science Rover. He's built from Legos and students control him through an iPad.
"They get to name it. They get to program it, which is a technology piece, but also working together because when it comes to STEM careers, you're always going to work as a team," educator Abel Torres said.
Torres said making slime isn't just fun, it's also educational.
"It helps them with those motor skills as well as the following of steps. And measuring. It's math but they don't know it," he said.
Slime also taps into chemistry.
"They're getting to see all these chemical reactions, but they're doing it by making slime and then they have this fun thing afterwards they get to take home with them," Wilkerson said.
Camp hours are from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. However, early and late care are included in the price. Students can be dropped off as early as 7:30 a.m. and can be picked up as late as 6 p.m. If you don't need an entire week of care, you can also register for single days. For pricing and registration information, click here.