After a year of teaching at the high school level, Keri Maricle is going to try her hand at working with elementary students this summer.

Maricle, who just finished her first year as a biology instructor at Thomas More Prep-Marian High School in Hays, is the new day camp instructor for elementary school students at Fort Hays State University’s Sternberg Museum of Natural History.

Students ages 6 to 10 are able to choose from nine different camps focusing on earth and life science. They can attend one camp, or two – or all nine if they wish to.

 “We have a couple of students enrolled in just one camp, and some are enrolled in six different ones,” said David Levering, education director at Sternberg Museum.

 The cost of each camp is $65 for members of Sternberg Museum and $75 for non-members. Financial aid is available and can be applied for along with the online camp application at Application deadline is Friday, June 1.

Levering started the camps his first summer at Sternberg in 2014, and “our first round of camps was very small, because no one knew they existed,” he said. However, attendance has grown significantly each year.

The first day camp is scheduled for Monday, June 18, and the last one Friday, July 13. The camps run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, and will include instruction both indoors and out.

“I’m excited about giving them a taste of science that isn’t all in the classroom,” Maricle said. “It’s fun to show students that this is what excites me.”

Maricle, who earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fort Hays State, said she welcomes the challenge of teaching younger students.

“There is a different teaching style that comes with every age group,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to it, especially taking them outdoors and doing things. Hands-on activities are the ones they remember the most.”

Sternberg Museum also offers camps for middle and high school students, which are one week and two weeks, respectively. More information about those opportunities can be found online at

Levering said the elementary school students will be introduced to subject matter that is in line with the middle and high school camps.

“We’re going to make a point of letting the elementary school students use some of the equipment they use in field camp,” he said. “It’s an introduction for them that is not real demanding of their commitment to the subject but getting to see little bits and pieces.”

Following is the list of camp dates and their subjects:

June 18 – Reptiles and Amphibians

June 20 – Bird Biologists

June 22 – Marvelous Mammals

June 25 – Digging Up Dinosaurs

June 27 – Sea Creatures of Kansas

June 29 – Minerals Rock!

July 9 – Gone Fishing

July 11 – Insects and Spiders

July 13 – Trees, Flowers and Grasses