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With gas prices inching closer toward the $4 per gallon mark every day, many families are rethinking summer travel this year. But just because you’ve opted for a “staycation,” that doesn’t mean you can’t take the kids somewhere fun, exciting and educational. My suggestion? Try the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation!

The Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation is right here in the First State and is an independent non-profit education organization focused on raising the visibility and value of K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. DASEF implements exciting scientific programs to motivate, engage, educate and inspire.

In operation since 1990, the objective of the Delaware Aerospace Academy is to provide hands-on training and experiences in aerospace-related activities and fields. Throughout the week, girls and boys in grades 1 – 10 are continually challenged to think, design, solve, build, and work cooperatively. All academies are designed to integrate the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics using Earth and Space themes as the unifying framework.

This summer, parents and children can pair up as teams to explore science and technology topics in a fun and educational way. Monthly adventures in discovery will be offered at the Environmental Outpost on the Big Oak Road site. Each event will be two hours in length (10:00 a.m. until noon) with a fee of $6/person. The fee for the 6 hour Vacation Exploration is $35 per child.

Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation Summer Vacation Exploration Schedule:

Exploration: Brushbots and Insectbots: June 18, 2011
“Want to immerse your child in the world of robotics – the future of exploration and industry? You and your child will see slides to learn about the science fiction and science facts of robots, use our robotic manipulators to move objects, make and race your own Brushbot, and build your own Insectbot that will dance and crawl across the floor. Get ready for the future today!

Exploration: Walking the Planets : July 16, 2011
Be among the first to take the “Planetary Walk” – the new scale model Solar System that covers the DASEF property! (The walk is rain or shine, so dress accordingly.) Before the walk you will see a slide show of recent NASA photos of the planets and a short film explaining the declassification of Pluto as one of the nine planets. Do a planetary puzzle, take a video “Field Trip to the Moon”, and try walking with reduced gravity, wearing  “Moon Shoes.” All aboard for the Solar System!

Exploration: Circuits and Blinkybots
(6 hour exploration for 6 to 10 year-olds): August 16, 2011
Is it time for your kids to fire up their brains for the new school year? Drop them off at our Environmental Outpost for a day of scientific discovery with current and static electricity! They will learn about the many applications of electrically controlled robots and then build their own Blinkybot – a simple robot with flashing eyes. They will explore circuitry, as they assemble schematic configurations of batteries, light bulbs, and fans; construct an electro-magnet; make electrical switches; and build an electronic question and answer board and an electronic maze. By creating a mini Leyden jar and an electroscope, your child will see the amazing effects of static electricity and how it is made. Shocking and enlightening scientific discovery!

Day Academies

6/20 – 6/24          Destination Sky and Beyond, Destination Space, Destination Flight and Destination Orbit at: University of Delaware

Half Day Academies

6/27 – 7/1             Destination Ocean

6/27 – 7/1             Destination Dinosaur/ Held in: Smyrna Delaware

Residence Academies

7/10 – 7/15          Destination Moon and Destination Mars at  University of Delaware

To sign up email your name, number of participants, and your phone number to: Lynne Bloom at dasef.outpost@verizon.net or call (302) 834-1978 or (302) 659-5003 and leave a number.

For 25 years, Back to Basics in Wilmington, Delaware has been recognized as the area’s undisputed leader in one-on-one tutoring. In addition, the firm offers a unique Delaware private school for grades K-12 and a Private Business and Trade School for adults. Back to Basics is the 2010 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

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