The Hartwell Foundation


Duke University Summer Camp for Science-Ambivalent Teens: Renewal 2014-2016

Memphis, TN, October 3, 2012 -- The Hartwell Foundation officially announced today that it extended funding for the Duke University summer science camp for science-ambivalent teens in grades 8, 9, and 10 for three years. Under the direction of Christine Adamczyk, Executive Director Duke Center for Science Education, the camp will receive $1.6 million in additional Hartwell support for 2014-2016.

The Summer Science Sleuths camp seeks to make a difference early in the lives of young teens that are ambivalent about science and technology by sparking their desire to follow an academic pathway that will lead to a lifelong involvement in science. Camp activities are structured to create excitement for science by making it fun –– providing attendees with a learning opportunity that will not only keep them engaged and eager to return the following summer, but will also show them the path to choosing a high school curriculum appropriate for a career in science.

The camp resides on the Duke University campus in Durham, NC, and operates as a two week summertime program that leverages core resources of the University, the Medical Center, and the diverse technical skills of Duke faculty, including Hartwell Fellows and Hartwell Investigators . The Science Camp provides a nurturing environment where girls and boys can connect with peers to share learning experiences in science.

The Science Camp accepted its first class of twenty rising 8th graders (completed grade 7) in June, 2011. In 2012, the second Summer Science Sleuths at Duke was held from June 17-30. The camp grew to 40 campers by adding a new 8th grade class to the returning class of rising 9th graders. Campers were selected from 359 applications from 19 states. The Camp will continue to expand in 2013 by accepting its third class of twenty rising 8th graders along with the returning 9th and returning 10th graders. Thereafter, the camp expects to have 8th, 9th and 10th graders attend each summer.

Program elements of the Science Camp emphasize hands-on and inquiry-based teaching, teamwork, problem-solving and fun; where science concepts are embedded in science-related activities like solving a Science Mystery: a biomedical problem. The theme offered to the 8th graders in 2012 was The Five Senses and for the 9th graders, Sports Science.

The 2013 Summer Science Sleuths camp was held from June 16-June 29. The 2013 session was unique because it represented the first opportunity to "graduate" a class of campers (rising 10th graders). Overall, students from 18 states in the U.S. were selected based on their demonstrated curiosity and intelligence, while having the potential to become engaged in science. Applications from returning campers received priority. All selected campers received full scholarships to participate in the camp.

The Duke Center for Science Education is dedicated to fostering collaboration among Duke resident faculty, students and staff interested in educating students from kindergarten to graduate school. The center promotes interdisciplinary science education research, service learning, civic engagement, and community outreach in science.

The primary mission of The Hartwell Foundation is to inspire innovation and achievement by granting awards for cutting-edge biomedical research that has the potential to benefit children of the United States. The grant to the Duke Center for Science Education is The Hartwell Foundation’s first initiative in supporting a science education program.

For more information about the Summer Science Camp, write .

Christine Adamczyk, Director of the Duke Summer Science Camp (foreground) and Rochelle D. Schwartz-Bloom, Ph.D., Director of the Duke Center for Science Education 

2011 Hartwell Investigator Louise Markert, MD, Ph.D., Duke University


2009 Hartwell Investigator Charles Gersbach, Ph.D., Duke University