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Week-long OWL Camp teaches kids about STEM, through Harry Potter

WEST JORDAN, Utah — The Salt Lake County Library is hosting its popular OWL Camp this week.

It’s a STEM summer camp that uses the fandom of Harry Potter to get students more exposure to science.

The line of kids stretched along the sidewalk before the Viridian Event Center at 8 in the morning Monday. They got a stamp on their ticket from the conductor, before entering Platform 9 3/4, then getting sorted into Hogwarts Houses.

Those houses then became their group for the day, as they started on the first of several activities and lessons.

“We wanted to give kids an opportunity to go to a free summer camp,” said Nyssa Fleig, the Salt Lake County Library Program Manager, although for this week, she is known as Deputy Headmistress.

Fleig was dressed in character, as was every other volunteer and teacher at the camp.

“All the partners are coming in costumes or character, or they tie it into the book,” she said.

“You are not just learning chemistry, you are learning potions. And there’s astronomy,like at Hogwarts, so everything ties back into that. And we want it to be fun, that’s where the social and emotional learning comes in as well,” said Fleig.

Partners include the Clark Planetarium, Hogle Zoo, Natural History Museum, Tracy Aviary, University of Utah College of Pharmacy and English Department.

“Some of our highest priorities right now are life-long learning and education, as well as technology and inclusion<‘ said Fleig. She says for those who did not apply or not make it in this year, apply for next year. They want to make sure it is accessible for everyone.

You can find out more information here.