Two Birmingham parents credits McWane's science camps with helping their son excel in school.
Kennedy Bonner just completed the fourth grade said he scored a tenth grade level on the science portion of the standardized tests.
Kennedy's mother said the educational camps were originally a way to keep him entertained.
"We started bringing him here when he was two just so he would have something to do. He had his first birthday party when he was three," Sandra Bonner, Kennedy's mother, said.
His parents admit the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. They are also big science lovers and do their best to engage Kennedy in science at home.
"I keep distilled water baking soda, paper towels. And lots of different household items that he can experiment with. It is not uncommon to find things in the refrigerator, under his bed, or in the bathtub where he is trying and comparing different things," she said.
Kathy Fournier is Vice President of Education for McWane Science Center. She says the summer camps aren't just a way to keep kids occupied but a fun way to stop summer learning loss.
"We talk about summer learning loss a lot. So those times when kids are not in school, what are they doing to keep that learning process going so they don't have to start all over again when they get back to school?" she said.
He comes not just for summer camps but spring camps and so any time there is a break in the school system.
"You can learns things without having to be bored," Kennedy said.
Fournier explained that the camps keep young minds active and that contributes to learning retention. But she said it's not just about the camps.
"We don't think McWane is the only reason Kennedy is doing so well. It's everything. It's the parents at home and what they are encouraging him to ask questions and try things to other opportunities in the community as well as coming here. It's the whole package," Fournier said.
Fournier says the center is always designing new courses to keep kids on their toes.
"We do a lot of different themes through the summer with them. We do everything from soupy science to fun house physics. We have animal tracks going on we have an animation camp going on," she said.
For more information, please visit http://www.mcwane.org.
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