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Summer Camp July 21
  • Summer Camp
Jeanne Killick

Girls Week 1 - MSSM Summer Camp began on July 16, 2017, with registration of 88 young ladies, four of whom are from China and Macau. 2017 is the 20th Anniversary of MSSM Summer Camp which began in 1997 as a camp for recruitment of young ladies into the student population of MSSM.  It is unique to note that a returning female instructor for the 3 girls weeks is a 1999 graduate of MSSM, and she started as a MSSM Summer Camp Counselor in 1998, and later helped to establish the Boys Week camps. She has served at the Summer Camps for 15 years and as an instructor for 10 of those years. In 2017, she is offering courses as follows: LET’S MAKE A “MATH”TERPIECE and ACTION ORIGAMI. Imagine how surprised she was to find that one of her students this week is the daughter of one of her MSSM classmates. From this blogger’s observations, it's very clear that associations, friendships and memories made here at MSSM are lifelong. 

Once the campers were all settled into their rooms and their parents had departed until next Saturday morning, the campers met with their counselors and mentors in their Family groups. Then they headed to the cafeteria for the MSSM Birthday Bash Dinner and Birthday cake, followed by introduction of their course instructors. For the next three weeks, we are pleased that we have on board: Daniel Haley, John Kiehn, Alex Hennings, Larry Berz, Ryan McDonald, Erin Boggs, Nicole Karod, Chris Beckwith, Kaitlin Belanger and James Robertson. 

From 7 pm to 8:40 pm, the campers participated in MSSM Family Olympics Mayhem. Activities included a game of Cornhole, Human Wheelbarrow, a maze game, a potato sack race, Frisbee, Pictionary, a water transfer game and a blindfolded seek and find game. After that, the girls were ready for snacks, showers and sleep. Lights out at 9:40 no doubt found many of them already sleeping, dreaming of the adventures ahead of them. 

Monday morning, Mission Monday, July 17, the girls wear their new Camp T-Shirts all day.  The daily schedule began with Rise & Shine at 7:30 am and Breakfast at 7:50 am. Class 1 (of 4) began at 8:30 until 9:40, followed by a 20 minute break and a camp photo was taken on the lawn. Class 2 began at 10 am until 11:10, followed immediately by Lunch. Class 3 began at 11:50 until 1:00 pm, followed by a 20 minute afternoon break. Class 4 was from 1:20 until 2:30 when many yawns were being yawned, and the instructors and campers alike were relieved that the bell had rung on their first day of classes. Let the fun begin!

A pick-me-up snack is taken from 2:30 until 2:50 when campers begin their afternoon activity choices. Monday Choice 1 from 2:50 until 4 pm is crafts or swimming or ultimate Frisbee or cooking or geocaching/nature walk. Monday Choice 2 begins at 4:10 until 5:20 when Dinner time rolls around once again. At 6 pm, quiet time and board games keep the campers busy until 7 pm when the evening program begins. On Monday nights, the campers participate in a challenging game of BREAKOUT — designed by one of our own multi-talented instructors. At 8:40, it's snack & Family meeting time followed by showering and sleeping, with lights out at 9:40.

Tuesday morning, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, July 18, campers are asked to wear the ball  cap of their favorite team.  Activities today provide choices of swimming, crafts, soccer, cooking, outdoor games, or a slippery slope of water games. Tuesday evening the campers participate in Skit-in-Bag and really show off their creativity. 

Wednesday morning, July 19, Wacky Wednesday — a chance for everyone to choose their wackiest wardrobe for some great laughs. Activities after classes are over for the day include choices of crafts, rock climbing, capture the flag, swimming, soccer, or cooking. Wednesday evening brings Movie Night in the gym, a great chance for a huge pajama party. 

Thursday morning brings out the Superheroines to Save the Day! Thursday afternoon activities include choices of basketball, swimming, crafts, a nature walk or soccer. On Thursday evening, campers and staff interact in an activity called Monster Night. Let's say the Pajama Monster asks a team of Superheroines questions until they answer three correctly. Then the group proceeds to the next Monster, all the while attempting to be the first team to finish. 

Friday is Formal Friday, and everyone is asked to wear their dress up clothes as there is a Celebration of Learning program from 2:50 until 5:20. The students present what they have learned and what excited them during their week at camp. All campers begin their packing process before attending the Friday night Talent Show. We have many talented young ladies with us this week. Thank you for participating and showing us your special talents.

Class schedules remain the same each day of the week, but afternoon activity choices are different throughout the week, and evening programs also vary. There is never a dull moment at MSSM Summer Camp!

Saturday morning brings breakfast and goodbyes. Some of this week’s campers will also attend next week. We hope that all of the girls have enjoyed being here and that we will see many of them again next year. Maybe they will even bring their younger sisters!  

Always remember: IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN DO IT!


Just as this blog was about to go to press, the most amazing thing happened, and it is important that you all hear about it. Today a former female graduate of MSSM came to Mr. Berz’ LIFT OFF classes to tell the campers of her personal adventures and aspirations for the future. She is Lil Costello of Milo, Maine, a four-year student and graduate of MSSM in 2015. She was interested in space travel by her great-grandfather at an early age, and in the 6th grade, she attended the Challenger Learning Center. Lil joined the Air Force and began basic training at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, as a Cadet in June of 2015, right after graduation from MSSM. Upon graduation from the USAFA in 2019, Lil will have attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. She plans to continue her military career with more training and will become an Astronaut Pilot by the time she is 35-40 years of age. 

Also, be sure to learn more about Jessica Meir, Caribou, ME, native “preparing for possible space station mission” per the Bangor Daily News article today, July 21, 2017.  

Always remember: IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN DO IT, and MSSM Summer Camp is a great place to begin turning your dreams into reality. You GO Ladies!!

Summer Camp July 7
  • Summer Camp
Jeanne Killick

For current campers at Boys Week 2 of MSSM Summer Camp, preparations began weeks, months and even years ago when parents and students discovered Maine School of Science and Mathematics Summer Camp and applied to attend in 2017. Their dreams came true as 99 new and returning campers arrived on the afternoon of Sunday, July 2, 2017. This week, two of the new campers came all the way from China 🇨🇳 and another two celebrated their birthdays here. This week we had some special things going on because of the Fourth of July (Tuesday, July 4, 2017) celebration in Limestone. The citizens of Limestone really love their community and know how to present a fabulous parade. Classes were rearranged a little to make sure the campers could attend the parade, and three of the faculty and staff even marched in the parade.  After sunset there was an amazing fireworks display. Thank you Limestone for caring for your City and its Citizens and for helping welcome our 2017 campers.

Upon arrival on Sunday, each camper and his family went through the Registration process in the gymnasium. Next their counselor took them to their room to meet their roommates and get settled in. Once the beds were made and the clothes put away, each boy bid his family adieu until Saturday morning, July 8, although several of the campers are staying more than one week, so their adventures continue while the new and returning campers begin their 2017 Summer Camp adventure.

After a picnic dinner, the campers met all of the counselors and mentors as well as the instructors. The activity for the early evening was Family Olympics. Campers competed in several events. 

Lights out at 9:40 PM found many of the campers asleep already and the others looking forward to snuggling down for a great sleep in their new environment. Each day, rise and shine comes at 7:30, returning them to the adventures that are ahead. 

Breakfast at 7:50 is always an adventure, especially for the cafeteria staff. With 99 students, 16 mentors and counselors as well as several faculty and staff, there are a lot of mouths to feed and a fine job they do! Thank you so much.  After cleaning up after themselves, the boys are separated into groups and escorted to their first class of the day at 8:30 until 9:40. The classes challenge their minds, and the morning break from 9:40 to 10 am challenges their bodies before Class 2 begins at 10:00 and lasts until 11:10 when the campers happily head to the cafeteria for lunch and chatting until 11:50 when Class 3 begins. Afternoon break begins at 1:00 for 20 minutes in the courtyard adjacent to the classrooms, and a lot of pent up energy is expended before heading to Class 4 from 1:20 until 2:30. By then, the campers have burned up more of their energy and are ready for refueling with a snack in the cafeteria. It's at this time each camper chooses the afternoon activity that is most appealing at the moment. Depending on the day of the week, activities from 2:50 to 4 pm include Swimming, Ultimate Frisbee, Nerf Wars, Geocaching/Nature Walk, Soccer, Fishing, Rock Climbing, Capture the Flag, Yard Games, Rocket Launch and Flag Football.

On Friday the activity is Celebration of Learning, when the campers have the opportunity to tell what they were most interested in and excited about in their classes. From 4:10 to 5:20, each camper chooses another of the activities to get them ready for Dinner at 5:20. Quiet time from 6 to 7 consists of board games, tournaments, crafts or trips to town to the local market. 

The evening program begins at 7 and ends at 8:30. Depending on the day of the week, the evening activities for all include Breakout, Skit-in-a-Bag, Movie Night, Monster Night and Friday night wraps up the week with a Talent Show. After all of the activities of the day, the tired campers meet with their camp family for snacks and a meeting of the minds; a chance to swap stories of the day with their friends and make plans for tomorrow. A nice warm shower melts away any resistance to sleep as they snuggle into their beds and dream of Calculus and Robots, their favorite activities, Building Bridges and Houses, and the Hidden Secrets of Food (to name only a few). Our campers of today are preparing to be the leaders of our World in the not too distant future. We are proud and happy to be a part of that preparation for their future and look forward to seeing their progress. Hope to see many of you again next year at Summer Camp. Maybe in the future some of you will join us as four-year students at Maine School of Science and Mathematics. 

Summer Camp July 3
  • Summer Camp
Jeanne Killick

Week 2 of MSSM Summer Camp 2017 began in the gym on Sunday afternoon, July 2, 2017 with Registration. Campers checked into their rooms, unpacked and bid adieu to their loved ones until next Saturday morning. Dinner was served outdoors because we were fortunate to have a rain-free afternoon here in Limestone. After dinner, the campers met the staff and instructors, and then the evening fun began with the Family Olympics. There was an egg toss, cornhole, squirt-the-bucket-full, Pictionary, a sack race, blind-folded search and set-the-huge-ball-on-the-hoop. Wacky games are always fun. July 2 ended with a bright moon, a gorgeous sunset and a good night of sleep for the active campers, staff and instructors. 

Courses begin at 8:30 and end at 2:30. Snacks follow (busy campers burn a whole lot of calories in classes and at recesses). Afternoon activities begin at 2:50 and end just before dinner at 5:20. Quiet time/board games begin at 6:00 until the evening program begins at 7:00 and ends at 8:30 — just in time for a snack and a Family Meeting. Lights out is at 9:40 pm.

The fun and learning experiences have just begun. Please tune in each evening on Facebook: Maine School of Science and Mathematics Summer Camp; Instagram and Twitter @mssmpenguins

Thank you for tuning in tonight.

Last day of Boys Week 1
  • Summer Camp
Ryan McDonald

It was a sad day for many boys as they woke up early to leave camp. Everyone had to pack and clean their rooms last night, but still wake up early for breakfast and gathering in the gym. We had breakfast sandwiches this morning, but usually we eat pancakes, sausage, eggs, bacon, and wash it down with orange juice. 
After breakfast everyone waited in the gym. Kids riding the bus home boarded and said their farewells at 9 am. Kids waiting for their parents to pick them up hung around until noon and played various games. For lunch we all had take out from the cafeteria and then at 12:30 the kids staying for a second week jumped in one of three vans driven by Mr. Berz, Mr. McDonald, and Mr. Mcendarfer and started a wild adventure. 

First stop was Goughan’s Farm for an action packed 18 holes of mini golf. Some of the holes are challenging, some are difficult, and a few are just soul-crushing. The creators of the mini golf course thought it would be funny to have parts of the course be missing a wall. Of course that part is exactly where we all wanted to hit the balls for the perfect angle shot. One shot goes down a steep slope and requires hitting an angled rock perfectly or it goes in the water. As if missing the shot weren’t enough, now I get a penalty stroke, AND have to scope my ball out of the water. One mentor and camper got a hole-in-one on the same hole.
After playing the grueling 18 holes, some kids walked around and took in a bit of history. The farm has some interesting stories to tell to anyone who will listen. It has (but no longer uses) an old style carousel, some trees with interesting birdhouses, and a waterslide, which is the only remaining piece of amusement equipment from the Caribou Funland Amusement Park. The park was destroyed by a tornado in the early 90s and now is just a large plot of empty land. When everyone finished wandering around, we sat on the Goughan’s porch and ate ice cream. That was just part one, part 2 consisted of a short drive to the Francis Malcolm Science Center where our own Mr. Larry Berz showed a special video on the types of lights and all the lights in the universe. Apart from the show, the boys also looked at all the science projects around the room. Some tried their hands (literally) at a speed test, other generated electricity on a bicycle, some looked through a microscope, and one boy went retro and just use binoculars. 
We arrived back at the dorm around 5 pm and everyone had a bit of dinner and then played games for a bit. Around 8 pm they watched a movie in the gym. They asked what time they had to go to bed and we told them 8 pm so they could get up at 4 am to clean the school and then help with the next week’s registration. There was a moment of disbelief and dread before we said we were kidding.

Summer Camp June 30
  • Summer Camp
Jeanne Killick
We're down to the last full day of Week 1 of MSSM SUMMER CAMP 2017, and campers and instructors are completing some much anticipated activities. Some of this week's campers may become ice cream makers or maybe rocketeers or maybe even ice cream rocketeers. Only time will tell.

Did you know that you can make delicious ice cream  in a baggie at home?  All you need for ingredients: 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon flavor extract, 2 tablespoons of sugar (or less, according to taste). Ask your campers how to mix it up. You and your family are going to love  this activity (although it does get a little (or a lot) messy).

Here's yet another way of making ice cream, although you probably won't attempt this at home. Here they have poured liquid nitrogen into a stainless steel pan in the sink. Next you use a suction pipette to drop ice cream mixture into the nitrogen, and it freezes immediately into tiny balls called Dip Dots. The newly formed Dip Dots must be shaken in an insulated cup to release the excess gas so that they may be eaten. Beware!  These will freeze your tongue and interior of your mouth if you eat them too soon. They will also freeze any skin they touch before the excess gas has dissipated. Please don't try this at home.


Summer Camp June 29
  • Summer Camp
Jeanne Killick


These budding engineers were given the task of building bridges of soda straws and straight pins that would support a two ounce weight dangled from one end of the bridge. Unfortunately, this blogger had to move on to other courses and didn't get to see the results.  Ask your camper when he gets home for details please.


Our future robotics engineers have programmed their robots to perform a line dance in unison. They're tweaking their programs here, getting them ready to dance!


Today our gamers found themselves playing an old favorite -- Monopoly, but with a new twist using mathematics.  Look out next time they ask you to play Monopoly with them. You're probably not going to win!​

Summer Camp June 28
  • Summer Camp
Jeanne Killick

Week 1 of Summer Camp is going swimmingly.  After a long day of courses and strenuous athletic activities, what better way is there to cool down and relax than an afternoon swim with friends.

Week 1 - Afternoon Course 4 - Hidden Secrets of Food

June 28, Wacky Wednesday, was especially fun as the campers made batteries from fruit.  Shown here, they are using lemons, but they also used apples, oranges, clementines, pears, plums, mangos and limes. 

The afternoon of June 28 finds our observant campers learning how to build rockets for their futures as astronauts.  Tune in tomorrow to see their reactions at Lift Off.

Summer Camp June 27
  • Summer Camp
Jeanne Killick

This afternoon eight eager future electrical engineers attended Mag Lev Technology class, working with copper wire, neodymium magnets and AA batteries.  They wound copper coils to serve as tunnels for the batteries with the magnets attached at each end to travel through, much like a bullet train.

Today there were several participants in the afternoon soccer activity. Looks like we may have some future soccer players in our midst!

​This morning five campers attended the Got Anatomy on the Brain? class, and learned about the somatosensory cortex of the brain using the cortical homunculus model, a map of somatosensory areas of the brain devised by Wilder Graves Penfield. Our future neuroscientists were asked to build a neuron using pipe cleaners and learned about the function of the neurons in the brain, and worked in groups testing various areas of their bodies to see how sensitive each area was to the touch of two unsharpened pencils. Before you know it, they will be dissecting sheep brains.


Summer Camp June 26
  • Summer Camp
Jeanne Killick

Boys Week 1 at MSSM SUMMER CAMP is under way as the campers tackle their first course Discovering BASIC Programming. The class began with the campers setting up their computers in preparation for creating a new programming project and ended with big smiles at the completion of their successful first project. Watch for more of their programming adventures!

Today the campers thoroughly enjoyed building EXPLOR3R robots ​in the class entitled Robotics with Lego NXT.  Tomorrow the robots will go through rigorous testing of their programs. Be sure to come see tomorrow's blog for the results.

Six budding scientists began the class Simple Circuits: Bulbs, Batteries & Bananas. Each one jumped right in and completed at least 6 projects during class time and were chomping for more when the bell rang​.  Come back tomorrow and we'll show you more exciting projects.

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