There is an amazing camp in Tucson for girls going into 5th, 6th, and 7th grades. It is called the Colors of Nature Academy, and it teaches girls science through art. The camp is organized by researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, and the University of Washington Bothell. The camp lasts two weeks and is actually a study funded by the National Science Foundation. The Colors of Nature Academy is held at the University of Arizona campus. There is no cost to attend the camp, but girls must apply.
I attended the 2016 Colors of Nature Academy. During the camp, we explored different types of art and the science involved in making them. We painted with light, made pinhole cameras, and went to the Sonoran Desert Museum to examine color in nature. I learned that art and science have a lot in common.
The camp staff included biologists, astronomers, and geologists. It was interesting to hear how they became scientists and about the research they are doing now.
At the end of the academy, we did a project involving optics and fashion. We were given a bag with three random pieces of fabric and a plain white dress to use as a base. The project was to design a costume inspired by nature. We examined the fabrics with a spectrometer to find the intensity of the color. The next day we did a presentation about our project to our parents, camp mentors, and staff from the University of Arizona.
I really enjoyed the Colors of Nature Academy, and I would recommend the academy to girls who are interested in science and art. For more information about the Colors of Nature Academy, go to [Colorsofnature.org](http://colorsofnature.org).