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Top Reasons to Choose Montana Learning Center


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The Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake is the best choice for encouraging children to be lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and action-takers. A STEM approach allows your child to explore different areas of study and provides them with an understanding of how each subject is connected.

“The weeks that I spent at science camp were a rare opportunity to explore a topic deeply with expert staff to offer mentorship. Learning to think scientifically with nature surrounding us was incredibly special.”        

- Julie S. - Board chair and former camper


By choosing Montana Learning Center, you are deciding to invest in your child’s future. STEM summer camp provides an environment in which lessons go beyond the curriculum. Children put the real-world pieces together that they learned in school and apply them in an engaging manner. Our camps create fun and meaningful memories and skills your child will build on for the rest of his/her life.


Montana Learning Center offers children the chance to learn, grow, and explore new modes of thinking and doing. STEM camp not only boosts academic performance during the school year, it also builds confidence, creativity, resiliency, and is lots of fun! Here are twelve reasons why you should consider a STEM-focused summer camp at the MLC for your child.

1. Put a Stop to Summer Learning Loss

Summer learning loss is real; just ask teachers who deal with it in September and October. Summer programs help students retain their knowledge. Camps that focus on arts and science enrichment offer a powerful combination of interactive instruction and the lively engagement that children crave when school is out for the summer.


Engaging young minds with both science and play

Our observatory offers unique views

2. Spark an Interest in Science

Summer is a great time for children to pursue new interests, including the sciences. A recent study of high school and university age students enrolled in a summer science internship program revealed that the majority of the students reported extracurricular exposure to the STEM fields had encouraged their interest.

Actively applying science concepts outside of the classroom has a lasting effect on children. Summer camp is a great place for them to start exploring in a fun, supportive environment.

3. Learn about the Cosmos

Our campers are naturally curious. The sky above us is full of amazing things that incite awe: the stars, the Moon, the planets and the vastness of it all. Our observatory helps satisfy the curiosity campers have and introduces them to the wonders of the cosmos. Because of MLC’s remote location, there is limited light pollution and an opportunity to utilize the dark night sky for a new learning experience. The MLC has the largest public-use telescope in Montana for vast viewing of galaxies, nebulae, the Moon and planets.


4. Create Career Interest from an Early Age

At the Montana Learning Center, we give your child enrichment experiences in the STEM fields that ignite the kind of curiosity that often leads to a fulfilling and meaningful work life. A recent study of middle school students across the country revealed that students who once participated in science summer camps were more likely to later report a career interest in the science and engineering fields.

5. Students Don’t Have to Enter a STEM Career to Enjoy Camp

Your child doesn’t need to plan to become a future biologist or engineer to enjoy summer camp. Many students who attend sign up because they like the theme — whether it’s learning about plant diversity or robots. STEM-infused camps give students skills to thrive.

6. Helps Children Experience Academic Success in a Low-Pressure Setting

Summer camp is a nice way for children to experience the joy of academic achievement in a low-stakes environment. A week at camp can give your child the chance to feel safer and more supported while learning, which can, in turn, lead them to feel more confident and take greater academic risks once the school year resumes.


Learning skills that tie into both nature and science

Exploring the local geology

7. A Unique Lakeside Environment

Most of our camps take place in our beautiful lakeside setting on the shores of Canyon Ferry Lake. Kids and teens have fun swimming, boating, and skipping rocks. The area also boasts unique geologic features and mineral deposits.

8. Increase Arts Exposure, and Watch Their Abilities Soar

Arts education has a tremendous effect on student motivation and achievement, as well as brain development. Summer camp is a perfect time for children to explore their creativity. Quality arts instruction, especially when coupled with the sciences, gives them the opportunity to play, create, and learn in non-traditional ways that emphasize individual expression as well as real-world collaboration skills.

9. STEM Boosts Confidence for Girls

A gender gap persists in STEM fields. Girls rate their abilities lower than boys, even when they are equally as talented. By building their daughters’ confidence early through our summer camp, parents can help them pursue their passion for science and math.

10. STEM Camps Help Kids Develop Social Skills

Children benefit from interacting with their peers and engaging in new activities. Kids and teens say they do things at camp they were previously afraid of doing. Not only are they building skills, but they’re trying new things. Camp experiences can help children gain self-confidence.

11. Award-Winning Teaching Staff

The Montana Learning Center has an outstanding 1:8 teaching staff to student ratio. Many of our teachers are award-winning. They look forward to teaching at camp as much as our students do to learning there!

12. Scholarships are Available

Because of many generous donors, we are not only able to provide a quality camp experience at a reasonable cost but also provide scholarships. Our goal is to give as many children as possible the chance to experience STEM camp this summer.


Learning comes in many forms when involving games

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