Blog: Bright Ideas

Animal Investigators: A Wild Adventure in Zoology

By Jamie Solomon, Summer Camps @ The Tech Program Director

I could not be more excited to share the 22 adventures in store this year at Summer Camps @ The Tech. Every single one of these classes is carefully crafted to inspire the innovator in your camper. With my background in animal biology, I’ve got a particularly soft spot for Animal Investigators.

In this brand new class, campers will use the knowledge and methods of wildlife biologists, such as animal classification and keen observation, to discover how creatures' bodies and behaviors help them survive. Throughout the week, campers will take on the role of zoologists as they design their own specimen collections. Pretty neat, right? Here’s the blow-by-blow.


Campers will learn about adaptation through the example of Charles Darwin’s Galapagos finches. Using a variety of building materials, campers will design and redesign beaks with different shapes to see what features will secure hard-to-reach food for their finches.


Campers will explore all things arthropod—creatures with exoskeletons, segmentation, and jointed appendages. They’ll be reflective as they work through designing and redesigning an exoskeleton that can withstand the pressure from a predator’s bite.


Campers will put their investigative abilities to the test, making observations about several different animal skull models to make hypotheses about the diets of each animal. Armed with this knowledge, campers will design sets of teeth that will best help to feed their choice of a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore.


Campers will explore fascinating uses of color in the animal world. By studying examples like warning coloration and camouflage, campers will better understand how patterns and colors help an animal to hide and survive. Campers will then flip this concept on its head, and learn what it takes for a predator to overcome these exceptional body adaptations to find their prey. Campers will also meet some scaly, furry, feathered friends during an animal show right here at The Tech.


Campers put it all together—literally!—as they assemble their very own specimen displays. Campers will craft specimen labels in the style used by real curators and put all their components together in a display box with custom features.


No matter which classes they choose, campers are sure to get hands-on experience as they learn and experiment. I can’t wait to see this adventure come to life for your camper this summer at The Tech.


Jamie Solomon is the Program Director at Summer Camps @ The Tech, located in San Jose, CA. She holds a B.S. in Animal Biology from the University of California, Davis, and has spent the past six summers at camp. When she’s not encouraging young innovators or developing engaging new camp experiences, she loves exploring the outdoors, watching endless Disney movies, and creating enticing kitchen concoctions.