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Summer Science Outreach Camp: Inspiring Future Scientists

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
88 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 23, at 12:59 AM EDT
Project Owners

Our Final Update: The End of Summer Camp!

August 27, 2015

The end of our Summer Camp, “The Down Low on H2O”, has finally arrived. We had such an amazing summer attending the Homewood YWCA, St. Paul’s AME, Wilmerding YMCA, and Greater Allen AME’s summer programs. We worked with over 65 youth between all four camp locations! By the end of our program, campers could explain the main steps to the scientific method, describe how water moves through the environment, talk about the importance of water in our bodies, and walk through the major processes involved in water cleaning systems! Small groups conducted their very own research projects spanning our main topics of water in the environment, water in the body, and water in technology. Our team of science mentors had a blast guiding and inspiring so many bright and talented mini scientists! We believe we fulfilled our goals of empowering youth, contesting summer learning loss, inspiring future scientists, and improving community health. Campers reported feeling more confident about presenting science and creating science posters following our program. Some campers reported wanting to spend more time with our mentors while others mentioned they liked testing out their experiments and presenting. This summer was all about fun learning with science! We want to thank each and every one of our supporters for helping us achieve our goals. Our crowdfunding campaign’s success allowed us to purchase laptop computers for camp, experimental supplies for each science team, and poster presentation materials. It helped to fund our transportation to and from each location and ultimately made our camp plans possible. Following the great success of this summer, we are already thinking about ideas for Summer Science Camp 2016! SO THANK YOU for supporting the Pitt Science Outreach Club and your community. Hail to Pitt, hail to science, and hail to summer!

One Week In

March 02, 2015

Hello! We are nearly 1 week into our crowdfunding campaign. THANK YOU to all of our amazing donors who have helped us reach 25% of our goal.  We are so grateful to all of you for supporting our program. With these funds we can purchase nearly 4 lap top computers for camp! Please consider sharing our project with your family & friends.  Remember that together we can make a difference. Take a peak below to see what some campers had to say about science last summer!

When asked to tell us something interesting about science…

“I like to do fun projects in science- test how fast we could run and our strength.””

“Experiments are cool. I like that experiments make certain things.”

“I like science and it’s more interesting than social studies, but it’s not like social studies, but social studies is sometimes cool, but science is the best of all that I like.”

When asked what in science they feel like they can do???

“I can do experiments and watch closely and write down stuff that I see, and be able to help people who don't know how to do things in science, and I think that I can be a great scientist.”

“I feel like I can make mold with a container, water, and a piece of bread.”

“Probably do stuff with chemistry and exploding liquids. With Miss Callaghan [she’s a science mentor], change color with iodine. Vitamin C mixes with iodine.”          

Spring Break - Snowy, Rainy, Foggy

March 11, 2015

Hello all! Pitt students are off enjoying their Spring Break, so I am slightly jealous of Amie who is relaxing on vacation in Cancun, Mexico. If she doesn't bring back warm weather, she's fired. Seriously though, despite Spring Break, our crowdfunding campaign continues... 

Last week we were shocked and excited to see 45% of our goal reached! Let's surprise the returning students by being over 50% funded! I know we can do it, but we need your help. You can support our project by donating or sharing our campaign with your personal contacts.

If Amie was posting this update, she'd say something like “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Lao-tzu

Since I am posting it, I'll say "Lao-tzu isn't funding this project, so you have to! Donate for the children!" THANK YOU!!

-Phil Cicco

Pitt Science Outreach Club Adviser


See I Brought the Warm Weather Back With Me!

March 18, 2015

Woah, first off I was extremely ecstatic to arrive back in the US and see that we hit over 50% of our goal! What an amazing welcome home present! If I go back to Cancun for another week can we hit 65%???  Because I’m about to book my next flight… But seriously, a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all of our donors. Lao-tzu would be so proud of all the love.  <3

Our campaign has shown enormous success over the last 3 weeks. I believe that we can reach our goal by the end but we most certainly cannot do it without more support! All donations push us forward and put us one step closer to camp. Since I love quotes I’ll leave you with two more…

-“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank

-“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.” Louis Pasteur

Phil would probably say “You’ve wasted too much time reading these quotes when you could be out there spreading the word and donating to our camp!”

I say, “Read the quotes, then immediately share with your networks! We need you.”

Thank you everyone!

-Amie DiTomasso

Pitt Science Outreach Club President

Four Weeks Left

March 27, 2015

Hello everyone! Our Summer Science Crowdfunding Campaign has about 4 weeks left! All and all we are thrilled to see that thus far we have reached 60% of our $5,000 goal! Thank you to everyone who has helped support our campaign by donating and sharing our cause. With the raised $3,000 we can purchase all of the experimental supplies for every science team, fund gas costs for all 5 camp locations, and fund the cost of the poster presentations for each science team! The remaining $2,000 is needed to fund the cost of laptops and the van rental for our transportation to and from camp. The laptop computers are a huge part of our program! We teach the campers how to safely use the web to explore their science questions. Campers use the laptops to conduct background reviews, input their experimental data, and to create their poster presentations. The computers are such a fun part of our program and help campers learn skills that they can carry with them throughout their academic careers. Please help us reach our goal! Remember that no donation is too small and every single dollar raised supports our program. Take a peak below to see what two campers had to say about the computers at last summer’s camp.

“I want to be a computer master.”

“You get to do a lot of things, you can play a game and you can do it on the computer and write down all the data.”

Full STEAM Ahead!

April 02, 2015

Hi everyone! This week we’ve reached nearly 70% of our $5,000 goal! We are so grateful to see this progress and extremely hopeful that we can reach 100% by the end of our campaign. The remaining $1,500 will fund the cost of the laptop computers. I mentioned previously why the laptop computers are so critical for our program but to remind you all again we need the laptops to help us deliver a high quality program! Campers learn how to use the computers to search the internet, create charts and graphs, and put together their final presentations. All of these skills will help the campers through their academic careers. Please consider supporting our project by donating and sharing with your networks. The club and the campers need you! Thank you!! Take look below to see why our camp is so important to our club members.

-Amie DiTomasso

Pitt Science Outreach Club President

“Camp was important to me, because you could see the positive effect good role models had on the children. All children can benefit from having someone they can confide in, and it was honor to play that role for some of these campers. Also, this program gave these children an opportunity to channel their creativity and energy through science--something they can carry with them as they grow older.”

-Connie Cheng

Science Mentor & Club Business Manager

“Even though our focus is on 4th - 6th graders, summer camp taught me things that I couldn't have learned elsewhere. I didn't think that after 6 weeks that I would feel confident enough teaching kids about a topic I knew little of to begin with. Seeing my camp kids light up when the saw me let me know the difference I make and the difference mentorship makes. Knowing that I matter to a kid I literally just met made being a mentor that much sweeter.”

-Katreena Thomas

Science Mentor & Club Vice President

2 Weeks Left

April 09, 2015

I can’t believe we have reached the last 2 weeks of our campaign! The last few weeks have really flown by and I am so grateful to everyone who has helped support our Summer Science Camp mission. Our program influences the youth we work with but it also has a tremendous impact on our lives! Many of the science mentors who worked for our program last year have returned to help with the planning and implementation of our program this year. Those of us who had never worked for Pitt Science Outreach before and who had no idea what to expect from camp did not realize the many different ways we would be affected. Read below to see what Science Mentor Megan & Geard had to say.

"Summer science was the highlight of my summer last year, and I'm counting down until it begins again this year. As an undergraduate, Pitt Science Outreach allowed me to connect my classroom teaching to the community I live in. I loved seeing the campers become more and more excited about science as the weeks passed. More importantly, I loved watching them help and teach one another as they worked together in small groups on their experiments. I remember one camper told me the first day he disliked science because he felt he wasn't smart enough to do it. However, on the final day of presentations, he confidently stood in front of the other campers to talk about the experiment he helped design and carry out. And that's what camp is all about."

-Megan Carson

Pitt Science Outreach Club Member & Science Mentor

“This camp really means a lot to me. As a science mentor you get the opportunity to make a positive difference in some of these kids’ lives. The design of the camp gives campers the opportunity to learn something new and even become passionate about science. The experiments they create are truly their own. They really take ownership of their work and become ecstatic when it’s time to show it off. Seeing this excitement and passion is truly a great feeling, especially from campers who had no previous interest in science. “

-Geard Fossett

Pitt Science Outreach Club Member & Science Mentor 

We are truly looking forward to working with the youth of our community again this summer. But we really need your help to make this possible! Please help support us by sharing our campaign! Everything helps our cause. THANK YOU!!

-Amie DiTomasso

Pitt Science Outreach Club President 

Let's Close the Gap!

April 16, 2015

Hello everyone! The Pitt Science Outreach Club’s (PSOC) Crowdfunding Campaign has gone very well over the last few weeks. We’ve pulled in over 75% of our $5,000 goal. We have just 6 days left to close the gap and bring in the remaining $1,300. But we need your help to do this! PSOC is a newly formed student group that has assumed responsibility for the Summer Camp Program. This financial transition has not been easy of course but we are eager to take on the challenge! On behalf of the student club I’d like to say the following:

  1. THANK YOU to the 61 donors who have pushed our mission forward! You all rock!

  2. Please help support us by closing this gap, we are so close!

  3. The work we do is really important to our community and to us. We get the pleasure of working with young minds and fostering a true interest in science. These youth will one day be the doctors, nurses, researchers, teachers, engineers, nutritionists, statisticians, etc. who help make our world a better place. Please help support them now in this journey!  

Every little bit helps to push us forward. THANK YOU everyone!

-Amie DiTomasso

Pitt Science Outreach Club President 


The Final 48 Hours

April 20, 2015

This morning I woke up and had a lot of overwhelming thoughts. My first thought was about finals week and the excessive amount of homework I (and I’m sure the other club members do too) have to accomplish before the week is out. My second thought was to check on our Summer Science Campaign’s progress. Third entailed my plans for breakfast, but at that point I was stretching to put finals to the back of my mind… Anyway, when I saw that we were at 95% of our goal this morning I was beyond thrilled and equally determined to devise a plan to reach the remaining $250. What I did not expect was to be sitting here now, only a mere number of hours later looking at 103% reached! I am amazed, humbled, grateful, and excited. Our project has seen such a massive outpouring of support from our community. That is truly a beautiful thing! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! So many have supported our mission and expressed their respect and appreciation for what we do, a declaration that ultimately enhances our determination to do more and give all we can. So upon reflection and discussion with Phil (he’s my go to science camp adviser- thank you Phil!) we have decided to keep the campaign running in hopes of raising enough funds over the $5,000 goal to add a potential 6th camp location onto our summer agenda! I crunched some numbers and think if we can reach $6,000 by the end of our campaign that we will be able to do this. So please continue to show your support for us over the remaining 48 hours. Regardless of the final number, I know that camp this summer is going to rock, that the youth are going to learn a lot while having fun, and that the science mentors are going to form lasting bonds with one another while fostering their commitment to community change. Science Rocks! Pittsburgh Rocks! You all Rock! THANK YOU.

-Amie DiTomasso

Pitt Science Outreach Club President 

The End of Our First Ever Crowdfunding Campaign

May 11, 2015

Several months ago, the club members, Phil, and I began planning for our crowdfunding campaign. We struggled with setting our goals, figuring out how to connect with the community, and how to best present our project. Ultimately we decided to go with the goal of $5,000 for our summer camp program and figured anything that we could raise would be a great accomplishment. At times we definitely doubted our ability to reach our goal, but we never gave up on our project, on our vision for the summer, and on our supporters. This unwavering motivation and confidence in ourselves, our project, and our community no doubt contributed to the ultimate success of the Summer Science Outreach Camp Campaign. We want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who donated to our project, who shared our vision, and who supported our work. All of the funds raised will be put towards the costs associated with camp such as the cost of experimental supplies, computers, science mentoring, transportation, and poster presentations. We could not have done this without each and every single one of our donors. I am so excited for camp this summer and I know all the science mentors are looking forward to it as well. We have a couple more weeks of planning left before camp starts but I know it’ll be here before we know it. Thank you again! It means more to us and the youth than you may know. Once we kick off our program we’ll be sure to send out a final update with pictures and thank you’s from camp. From all of us in the Pitt Science Outreach Club- THANK YOU. Hail to Pitt, hail to summer, hail to science!

-<3 Amie DiTomasso

Pitt Science Outreach Club President


Two Weeks into Camp!

July 15, 2015

Woah, we cannot believe the Pitt Science Outreach Club is already two weeks into summer science camp! Our program, entitled “The Down Low on H2O” has kicked off with great success. Last week we spent 5 days at the Homewood YWCA and this week we are at St. Paul’s AME in Knoxville! We are still looking forward to two more camps, one at the Wilmerding YMCA and one at Greater Allen AME church in North Shore.  Campers have learned a tremendous amount about science and water. We’ve learned the main steps of the scientific method, explored how water exists in our environment, talked about the role of water in our bodies, and learned about water technology in water filtration systems. Campers have split up into small groups to conduct their own research projects. Projects have examined how exercise impacts body temperature, how buoyancy determines floatation, how liquid composition influences the phases of water, and how water temperature and detergent types enhance cleaning technology. You can take a more detailed look at each camp site and each science group by visiting our website and following the links for summer science 2015 on our ‘Summer Science Tab’. We have some really great pictures of camp and our science experiments ready for you. All of the student club members and campers want to extend a BIG THANK YOU to our supporters! We could not have pulled off our summer program without your help. So from the bottom of our cardiac muscles, thank you for your generosity and support!

In Science,

     The Pitt Science Outreach Club


Choose a giving level


Level 1

Your gift will support the cost of one poster presentation for one science team!


Level 2

This gift will fund the cost of gas for an entire week of camp!


Level 3

With this gift, we can purchase all experimental supplies for one science team!


Level 4

A gift of this amount will fund a half day of camp!


Level 5

This generous gift will provide one laptop computer for camp!


Level 6

Your remarkable gift will fund all of the experimental supplies for two entire camp locations!

Our Crowdfunding Groups