HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Leaders with the University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Marine Education Center (MEC) announced summer camps will be available for students in grades 1-12 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

These five-day camps are rich in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities. During the camps, children enjoy hands-on, immersive learning activities in a unique coastal setting. The center is located at the University’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Miss.

“We were so excited to be able to offer even the abbreviated selection after having to cancel in 2020 and with COVID still a concern last year,” said MEC Director Dr. Jessie Kastler. “It was so successful. We filled all the camper spots, and one-quarter of the campers attended on need-based scholarships. Our campers had a great time.”

As registration gets into full swing for the 2022 camps, COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. Kastler stated camp preparation is back operating at traditional capacity.

Sea Camp for 1st – 6th graders returns for its 35th year with the “Ultimate Sea-vivor” theme. Other popular camps include Shark Fest and Angler Camp for students in grades 7-12. New this year is the four-day Adventure Camp for students entering grades 4-12.

“For even more kids, it is their first opportunity to spend time on boats and in kayaks actively learning about our coastal environment,” said Kastler. “This is the only opportunity most have had, and the only opportunity many will ever have, of interacting with scientists, collecting data, and exploring how science works.”

MEC 2022 Summer Camps include:

  • Shaggy’s Angler Camp (Grades 7-12: June 27-July 1 and July 11-15)
  • Sharkheads Shark Fest (Grades 7-12: June 6-10 and June 13-17)
  • Sea Camp (Grades 1-6: June 6-10, 13-17, 27-July 1, July 11-15, 18-22, 25-29)
  • Island Adventure Camp (Grades 4-12: June 21-14 and July 5-8)

To learn more about the Marine Education Center, and to register for camps and workshops, call 228-818-8095 or visit: https://www.usm.edu/marine-education-center/index.php