World of Learning (I.E. Fun) Open to Children at Community Colleges

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Byline: Kim Mikus By Kim Mikus

It doesn't take long after summer vacation begins for students to start the annual summer phrase -- "I'm bored."

In an effort to combat boredom, parents are in the process of signing up for the traditional day camps, park programs, summer school and sports camps that offer an array of opportunities. There are library and park district programs provided to keep elementary-aged children busy for the summer as well.

There is another option that parents may not think of as a place to look for fun summer programs. Community colleges provide dozens and dozens of camps and classes for young students. The colleges offer young children fun options, from building Lego robots to baking cupcakes or learning about space.

The colleges offer camps catering to just about every interest, said Karen Trush, director of marking for noncredit programming at the College of Lake County. "We like to offer learning in a fun, active way," Trush said. "We try to pick fun interesting topics," she added.

Here are a few of the popular, new or out-of-the ordinary courses we found at some of the local colleges.

College of Lake County

Campus: Grayslake

Call: (847) 543-2022

Main camp: Camp Xplore

New this summer: NASA Space Science and Astronomy Camp. Michelle Szybowicz is a teacher who loves space science and astronomy. She is a NASA Ambassador and will teach students how things fly by making kites, paper airplanes and a Goddard foam rocket.

* Grades 1-3 meet 1-4 p.m. July 9-13.

* Grades 4-8 meet 9:30 to 12:30 p.m. July 9-13.

Cost: $169

Hot pick: Lego in Motion. Build creative contraptions and explore the science of motion. Compare gears, pulleys and levers to build the fastest, strongest, coolest projects.

* Meets: 1-4 p.m. June 18-22 at the Southlake campus

* Meets: 1-4 p.m. July 16-20 at the Grayslake campus

* Cost: $175

Creative class: Cartooning. By combining geometric shapes participants draw a new character each week.

* Meets: 9:30-10:30 a.m. Saturdays July 7-28 at the Grayslake campus.

* Grades: 1-4

* Cost: $49

Elgin Community College

Call: (847) 214-7123

Email: noncreditmailbox@elgin.edu

Back by popular demand: Kids vs. Wild class. The camp helps participants develop skills they would need to enjoy outdoor adventures including making a simple shelter out of natural materials or look for wild edibles. Most of the day is spent outdoors.

* Meets: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 9-11.

* Ages: 9-13

* Cost: $169

Popular option: Art Explosion. Students make cool art projects with clay, string, cardboard or create pencil and charcoal drawing. All art supplies included in fee.

* Meets: 9 a.m. to noon June 18-21

* Ages: 6-9

* Cost: $139

Hot pick: Lego Innovations and Robotic Adventures. Participants program the indomitable TeeSaur, a friendly robot. Children learn basic steps of programming in Lego language.

* Meets: 1 to 4 p.m. June 18-21

* Ages: 6-8

* Cost: $149

Active: Beginning Cheerleading. The class is focused on learning the basics of cheerleading. Students will be introduced to the proper motion, dance and jump techniques, basic tumble and body control.

* Meets: 10 a.m. to noon June 25-28

* Ages: 6-8

* Cost: $119

Harper College

InZone offers summer enrichment and sports camps to children ages 8-14. Camps offer both indoor and outdoor activities.

To sign up: harpercollege.edu/inzone

Hot pick: Adventures in Robot Building. Staff members from RobotCity Workshop will lead students through an intense, two-week adventure in robot building.

* Meets: 9 to 10:25 a.m. June 11-June 22 or July 9-20

* Cost: $299

Creative class: Jammin' Jewelry. …