Area kids can learn all about science this summer at their local libraries.

This summer the focus is on science related to in and under the ground, in keeping with the Crawford County Library System’s theme of "Dig Into Reading."

Van Buren Public Library is holding Summer Science Camp every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and will run for a total of six weeks, said Lynnette Mikesell, secretary with the Crawford County Library System.

Last year the camp was limited to a certain number of kids, but this year kids can "just show up," Mikesell said.

"For this year we’re just keeping it open," Mikesell said.

Science Camp kicked off this week, with kids learning the step-by-step process of making a worm bed. The beds will be on display at the library for the entire summer.

Other fun activities this summer will include a volcano demonstration and making lava lamps, archaeology with representatives from Lake Fort Smith State Park, and learning about caves and stalagmites.

"Kids get an opportunity to see that science is fun, to open them up to the experience of just the beginning of science," Mikesell said of all the libraries’ summer science programs.

Other chances for kids to learn about science will be at the Alma and Mountainburg public libraries.

Mountainburg will have Summer Science Fun every Wednesday at noon in June and July.

Kids will learn about gardening, composting, ants, minerals, caves and dinosaurs, said Elizabeth Dodson, children’s librarian at Mountainburg Public Library.

The last two Wednesdays in July will be special, with kids given the opportunity to participate in the Mastodon Matrix Project with the Paleontological Research Institution’s Museum of the Earth.

Dirt and material taken from the excavation site of a mastodon is being sent to schools and libraries throughout the nation, including the MPL.

Kids will get the chance to search through the material and see if they can find any missing pieces, such as small pieces of bone, that can be cataloged and sent back to the museum, Dodson said.

"They get to be real paleontologists," Dodson said.

Alma Public Library is having a science program two days of each month in June and July, starting this past week. Kids can learn about fossils, artifact assembly and disaster readiness.

The three remaining days for the APL program are June 13, July 2 and July 3.