group of elementary-aged children huddled under a large boulder

Odyssey of Science & Arts: Bellingham, Grades 4-6

Please Note: Registration for this event closes seven days prior to the program start date.

Odyssey is a camp that combines Science and Arts programs with outdoor recreation. This year, we are adding a half-day academic course only portion for students who choose not to participate in the afternoon recreation portion.

Students will participate in the academic course of their choice during the morning session, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  After class, students will have a supervised lunchtime, followed by recreational activities and community building at our Wade King Rec Center and outdoor spaces.

The program begins and ends with a convenient drive thru drop off and pick up. The camp combines the best academic enrichment, physical activity, and convenience for working parents and families!

Youth program participants and staff must abide by all University regulations and program rules.

The audio described version of this video can be found on YouTube.

OSA Memory Book

At a Glance

Grades 4-6

July 8-12, 2019
July 15-19, 2019
July 22-26, 2019

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Academic Only)

Western Washington University
See location details


Before May 15


After May 15
Academic Only Sessions


Before May 15


After May 15
See cost details


Courses will explore science and art through hands-on learning in specialized labs and classrooms on Western’s campus.  Taught by WWU faculty and local highly regarded educators, all courses are designed to engage students through interactive activities that foster success in a fun, inquiry-based learning environment.

Students will select one morning class per session and will automatically be entered in the PM recreation period of the program.

Odyssey Course Schedule
  Morning Sessions
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.*
Week 1:
July 8-12, 2019
Survival Science
Fire in the Kitchen!
Week 2:
July 15-19, 2019
Adventures in Media Making: Video Production
Video Game Design
Week 3:
July 22-26, 2019
SCRATCH-ing the Surface of Programming

*All courses followed by a supervised lunch period, and afternoon recreational programming.

Students should bring:

  • Sack lunch
  • A refillable water bottle
  • Clothes and shoes that will be appropriate for outdoor activity and rock climbing (no flip flops, or skirts)
  • Sunglasses and/or hats
  • Sunscreen
  • A jacket
  • Swimsuit and towel on Tuesday and Thursday

Week 1: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Survival Science

Do you enjoy Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet or Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games? Explore how natural resources are essential in a survival situation as you learn skills in Sehome Arboretum. Participants will:

  • Discover survival uses of local plants including what is edible and what is not.
  • Investigate the behaviors of animals for use in survival situations.
  • Build a bow-drill to create friction and make fire.
  • Make lenses out of water to produce light.
  • Create rope and ancient tools.

Experience the science of survival and have the adventure of your life!

Instructor: Matt Holmes

Fire in the Kitchen!

Many of the most ordinary items found in the house are in fact examples of chemistry! Join us as we explore some of the basic principals of chemistry and observe how common household items could make bombs, fires, cookies, and effect our environment.

Participants will:

  • Explore basic chemistry concepts in a fun and hands-on interactive approach to science within the kitchen! 
  • Identify the basic elements of a chemical reaction including reactants and products.
  • Understand the difference between an exothermic and endothermic reaction.
  • Develop basic lab safety skills.

Students will need to bring: a notebook and writing utensil.

Instructor: Michael Finley

Week 2: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Video Game Design

Experiment with the fundamentals of computer science through hands-on projects in video game design and development. Participants will:

  • Create three types of computer games with GameMaker 8.0 software.
  • Implement the drag and drop system while learning pseudocode in a fast-paced mouse clicker.
  • Examine more complex coding focusing on variables to randomize game play.
  • Begin designing a personalized game with sprite design, coding and level-building.

This course is an opportunity to gain valuable insights and skills for future study and career options, such as a game developer or tester for a software company.  Students are to bring a 2GB thumb drive.

Instructor: Robert Harley

Adventures in Media Making: Video Production

Children are exposed to media from birth and many have access to media technology from an early age. Discover the fun and excitement of communicating your ideas through the media.  Participants will:

  • Explore and develop their media intelligence.
  • Develop a script.
  • Build technical skills using video cameras, editing software and by creating a DVD of their series to share with family and friends.
  • Experience the various roles of a production team – in front of the camera, behind the camera and on the cutting room floor.
  • Visit Western’s video studio to see how student shows are produced.
  • Gain a better understanding of the basics of visual communication in this lively course and practice the tools to create video productions for family, friends and school assignments.

Students are asked to bring a flashdrive.

Instructor: Matt Buckmaster

Week 3: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Scratch-ing the Surface of Programming

What is programming and what can you do with it? Short answer: all kinds of things! Making animations, writing music, and building a simple website are all ways to scratch the surface of programming. By using Scratch, a tool for kids and adults alike, kids will learn core programming skills as well as where coding came from and how it can be implemented in every-day life. Concepts covered include:

  • A history of programming
  • A basic understanding of common coding languages
  • Prototyping and pseudo-code
  • Coordinates and movement
  • Variables and coding flow-charts
  • Broadcasts: Making code talk to each other

Instructor: Janae Cram


Explore the FUN-damentals of robotics through creative hands-on application and gain a basic understanding of the logics of robotics. Participants will:

  • Investigate the elements of design, development, testing, and debugging.
  • Build and program robots to perform a series of specific challenges – navigate a maze, follow a line, battle other robots – with Lego Ev3 kits.
  • Apply engineering fundamentals.
  • Enhance critical thinking skills
  • Discover the vast career opportunities that the field of computer science offers while gaining valuable insights and skills for future study.

Instructor: Robert Harley

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All courses run for a period of one week, from Monday through Friday.  Courses are offered July 8-12, 15-19, and 22-26, 2019.

Daily Schedule

8:15 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Check In

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Class period

12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Check out (Academic Only)

12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Recreational Activities

4:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m

Check out

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Location Details

Western Washington University
516 High St, Bellingham - Communications Facility

Drive Thru Drop Off and Pick Up

Participants will follow directional signboards on campus to the back of the Communications Building for a drive thru drop off or pick up. Program staff will confirm Authorized Pick Ups at check out. Please follow drop off/pick up protocol to ensure the safety of all participants.

If you need to park, on campus parking is available in the C-Lots at the south end of campus with pay by the hour options.

For detailed parking instructions (if applicable), please refer to the confirmation letter.

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Cost Details

Regular Registration (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

  • $350 per week (Before May 15)
  • $350 per week for WWU faculty, staff and alumni
  • $375 per week (After May 15)

Program cost for regular registration includes instruction, materials, activities, lab rental, specialized equipment, t-shirt, pool supervision, recreation staffing, and lunchtime supervision (no lunch provided).

Academic Only (8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)

  • $173 per week (Before May 15)
  • $173 per week for WWU faculty, staff and alumni
  • $198 per week (After May 15)

Program cost for academic only includes instruction, materials, activities, lab rental, specialized equipment, and t-shirt.


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Cancellation Policy

A full refund is granted if a program or session is cancelled. No reduction fee is given for late arrival, early departure, missed days due to vacation, illness or special events, or expulsion for disciplinary reasons. Cancellation requests must be submitted via email to seven days prior to the program start date in order to receive a refund; a $50 per session handling fee will be charged for cancelations. Refunds will not be granted for cancellation requests received later than the seven days prior to the start date of the session.

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