Summer FAQ’s

Unleash Your Child’s Summer of STEM Adventures: Your Ultimate Guide to FAQ’s!

We understand that as parents, you want the best summer learning experience for your child – one that combines education with fun and excitement. Our program is designed to spark curiosity and ignite a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). To make your experience seamless, we have compiled a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, aiming to address any concerns you may have. Our goal is to make it easy for parents like you to find the information you need, ensuring that your child’s Summer of STEM Adventure is not only educational but also a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Visiting

Want to learn more about where your child is going? Have some questions you’d like to ask in person? Do you just want to see the view from our mountain-top sundial for yourself? We are offering two “open house” campus tour events. Dates and times TBD.

Volunteering

We are looking for high school student volunteers! Our “Science Center Scholars” are an essential part of our Summer of STEM Adventures team. Each Scholar is assigned to a program where they will assist the teacher with activities, games, preparation/cleanup, and teaching. For more information, please click here.

Prospective volunteers can submit this application or email summer@tmsc.org with questions. After an application has been submitted and approved, a parent must register the volunteer through our online system.

Science Center Scholars are not paid. Registration is free (aside from a $6.50 online fee). Scholars receive a free program t-shirt (please choose size when registering). Scholars should bring a snack and lunch. Scholars should take the bus – bus stop location will be chosen during registration. 

How do I register?

It’s easy to register online! Check out our event calendar, where you can search by week and grade range. Each event includes a link to our online registration system (Active Network).

You can register multiple children at the same time – in fact, if you do so, you can get a sibling discount! You can also get a discount for registering for multiple programs for the same child. Unfortunately we are no longer offering membership discounts – but we have a new social referral system – details will be provided to you after checkout.

See this page for more registration details.

Will you send me any reminders?

You should receive a confirmation email once you have successfully registered online. TMSC will send a separate email the week before your child’s Summer of STEM Adventures program begins to reiterate important information. 

What are the program hours?

The program runs from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. We do not currently offer before or after care.

What does a typical day look like for my child?
  • 9:00 = Arrival and morning announcements
  • 9:15 – 10:30 = Program activities
  • 10:30 – 11:00 = Snack Break
  • 11:00 – 12:00 = Program activities
  • 12:00 – 1:00 = Lunch and Recess (typically outdoors; indoors if inclement weather)
  • 1:00 – 3:00 = Program activities
  • 3:00 – 3:45 = Special activities (outdoor play, tie-dye shirts, contest, planetarium show/movie, surveys) 
  • 3:45 – 4:00 = Dismissal to buses (pick up times depend on the bus stop)
Can I drop off/pick up my child at the TMSC campus?

For daily drop off/pick up: no. Our private residential road is not able to accommodate heavy vehicular traffic on a daily basis. This is why we offer buses at three convenient locations: Hartford, West Hartford, and Avon. Click HERE to see our transportation information. 

If you are going to bring a student to a program late, or pick them up early, you can drive to campus – please contact the main office (860-677-8571) to make arrangements.

What should my child bring?

Bring a snack, lunch, and dress for the weather! We do not provide refrigeration, microwaves, or utensils. We have water fountains and water jugs in each building – your child may bring a refillable water bottle (no glass please).

Please make sure all items (lunch boxes, water bottles, backpacks, jackets, etc.) are labeled with your child’s name. By the end of summer we end up with an impressive lost-and-found collection. Please help us keep this to a minimum! 

We are not a peanut-free campus, though we do encourage students to keep peanut products to a minimum. During snack and lunch we set up a nut-free table for students with allergies, and may designate others as needed. We have a no-sharing-food policy for all students and staff.

Note about shoes: please no flip-flops. Our campus has variations in elevation and groundcover. Sneakers or other close-toed shoes are encouraged. 

For days with inclement weather, please send a rain jacket and/or umbrella. Students often travel between buildings for activities.

My child needs to have medication with them. What should I do?

Please see our policies page for details about medications and forms.

My child has special needs. Can they attend your program?

Yes! However, all students must be able to abide by our behavior policy, which must be signed by the parent/guardian during registration. You can see our policy HERE. In addition, all students should be toilet trained and have the ability to follow verbal instructions from staff. 

During registration, please be honest when answering questions about your child. The more information we have, the better our teachers can support your child. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s ability to be successful in our programs, please contact us before registering.

We allow the assistance of paraprofessionals hired by families for their child – there will be separate forms for them to complete (please contact us to discuss). We cannot provide our own paras or aides. 

Who will be teaching the programs?

Our programs are taught by our full time science center staff, our Talcott Mountain Academy teachers, and outside experts hired for their enthusiasm and experience.

What is the student/teacher ratio?

Our programs have a maximum size of 12 students. Teachers are often accompanied by a Science Center Scholar – a high school volunteer.

We can’t find a program we wanted. What happened?

Several of our programs have been refreshed – with new titles and updated descriptions. We have also added some new programs! We have also changed the grade bands from K-3 and 4-8 to K-2, 3-5, and 6-8. If you want clarification on any changes, please email us summer@tmsc.org 

How do I contact TMSC?

You can call our main office M-F, 8:30 to 4:30: 860-677-8571 or email summer@tmsc.org. You can also email the Vacation & Summer Program Manager, Dr. Brigette Zacharczenko; or the Director of Science & Innovation, Dr. Jay White.

How do I provide feedback?

During the program, your child will submit their own survey about how they enjoyed the week. After the program is over, the parent/guardian who registered will receive their own satisfaction survey via email. If you wish to contact us beyond that, you can call the main office (860-677-8571) or email us summer@tmsc.org.