Google, NASA, Khan Academy Team Up for Online Summer Camp

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Google has joined forces with National Geographic, NASA, the National Park Service and Khan Academy to offer Camp Google, a one-month summer camp for kids that children can attend for free from their homes.

The weekly digital field trips revolve around a specific theme including oceans, space and nature. Camp Google started Monday, July 13, 2015 with Ocean Week and a live streaming of an ocean dive.

The live broadcast deep sea dive  – in which a remotely operated submersible vehicle launched from Broward County and into the Atlantic ocean – was narrated by ocean experts Erika Bergman and Sylvia Earle as the first digital activity for children attending the digital Google Camp.

“I hope through our dive and the rest of Camp Google, we can inspire kids to continue asking questions… and get out there to find answers,” Sylvia Earle has written at the official Google blog.

Over the first camp week, kids got a chance to digitally explore reef habitats and ocean wildlife as well as explore a shipwreck. Among the lessons provided, children had the opportunity to learn about buoyancy and the mechanism dolphins use to perceive space underwater. As the official Google blog explains:

“The activities are designed by the Google engineers who map the oceans with Google Earth, and can be done with simple household supplies.”

Camp Google wants to help families with working parents and busy schedules by giving them the opportunity to engage their children in educational, fun and interactive activities, Emily Stiebel, product Marketing Manager for Camp Google, told VentureBeat.

At the end of each thematic week the young learners can earn badges for every activity completed. After watching activities carried out by experts in their field, children are given a supplies list to complete their own DIY activities.

The annual free camp is available worldwide to children ages 7 to 10, although anyone can join. The camp can be paused and resumed to fit the learner’s schedule.

The second week is Space Week, in which learners along with a NASA astronaut and VSauce will discover what and how astronauts eat in space and will help cook space food themselves. For the third week, learners will explore the Volcano National Park in Hawaii with the help of Derek Muller and a National Park Ranger.

The fourth and last week of Camp Google ends with Music Week in which the young learners will jam with pop star and actress Zendaya to learn how music and dance are linked to one another.