Summer Camp -- Are we crazy?

#edtech #edchat #elearning We have decided to start a summer camp at the elementary school I teach at. The main reason for the summer camp is to extend our school mission of creating students that are ready for the 21st Century into the summer months. A summer camp allows us the flexibility of being outside of the district and state mandates for subjects and curriculum, and with this flexibility comes some incredible classes. The focus of our summer camp will be classes in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math – or STEAM.

By allowing teachers the autonomy to pick a subject that they are passionate about we have been given some incredible classes to offer to our students. Check out the list of classes that we will be offering and you’ll wish you were 10 years-old again:

Science Matters (Week 2 - Double Periods): Take A Dive: Are you a young Jacques Cousteau? Or maybe you want to be want to be an Oceanographer, either way come take a dive with us. During the week we will transform the camp into an underwater sea adventure you will never forget! Dissect a real shark, participate in a fisherman's challenge and bring to life genuine Triassic Triops and learn to care for them at home. We will also examine the anatomy of a fish and learn the ancient technique of gyotaku or “fish rubbing”, make fish print t-shirts, come face-to-face with some unique sea creatures such as squid and learn to survive at sea with a homemade solar still.  Campers will continue the fun as we create a whale adaptation lab and a kelp forest. Jump right for an underwater sea adventure! (max class size: 24 students)

Science Matters (Week 1 - Double Periods): Catapults and Backyard Ballista: Catapults, cannons, and cross bows. We will build a fort and a castle to lay siege upon.  You’ll be building your own tabletop wooden trebuchets to launch objects in your backyard. Experiment with trajectory and velocity with our Giant Catapult.  Then we  will  continue our exploration of force and motion with flying disks and marshmallow shooters. We will also have the potato cannon and send a spud with a thud!  We’ll top it by seeing our camp from a very different perspective…100 feet up!  We will also create and take pictures from our Flying Camera. Come join in the fun! (max class size: 24 students)

Theater in a Week (Afternoons - Double Periods): All the world’s a stage and we are merely players. We move through the production schedule in a fast-paced, child-focused way while learning theater history, costume and set design, drama, rehearsal and performance skills. Over the course of the week we learn lines, make costumes and props because once Friday arrives it’s Showtime! (max class size: 24 students)

LEGO Space Police Animation: Use LEGO kits to make great movie sets and then use the art of animation to make the LEGOs come alive in a short video full of action and fun. (max class size: 12 students)

LEGO NXT Mayan Adventure: Learn to build and program robots to explore our ancient Mayan ruins set. There are five different challenges with traps and treasures to explore as you learn all about building and programming LEGO NXT robots. This is a great course to take to prepare for the First Lego League competition. (max class size: 12 students)

iPad Rock Star: Come spend a rockin’ week with us, as we  learn to play and perform music by using an iPad and some great music apps. Before long you will be rockin’ the iPad. We will even learn dance moves and rock star style, and create a music video that is sure to be a hit on YouTube! (max class size: 12 students)

Movie Making:  With this class you can finally let the movie maker inside of you free. We will take a fun look at what it takes to make a movie, everything from writing a script to the actual shooting and editing of the movie. You will work on a movie production team where everyone gets a chance to try the different roles and responsibilities of movie making. (max class size: 12 students)

Kids Fun and Healthy Cooking: Put the fun back into healthy eating with this great class. This lively class encourages kids to consider what they eat and how it affects their bodies, without preaching. Yummy interpretations of old classics, as well as new recipes destined to become classics help turn eating into a delicious treat. (max class size: 12 students)

Secret Agent Lab: Look out 007 – the Secret Agent Lab is in session! From decoding messages to metal detectors and night vision, you will get a chance to check out cool spy equipment and even create your own edible message in a hands-on look at the science that spies use! Campers will use science to connect the dots and help sniff out the suspects in this hands-on investigation into the science of sleuthing. (max class size: 12 students)

Brainetics: Brainetics will train your mind to work much more efficiently and will become much more powerful in a fun and cool way. Brainetics teaches your brain to behave like a computer: it will receive information, store it, and memorize all the relevant information while ignoring the unnecessary information. Soon you will be doing huge math problem in you head within just a few seconds.

Puppetry (Double Periods): Learn to create two types of puppet forms! We will expand your creativity and storytelling skills by going beyond bags to design sock and shadow puppets to retell beloved fairy tale classics.  We finish off the week with a Friday Puppet Show for friends and family!

Pottery (Double Periods): Castles! Towers! Dragons! We will use various hand-building techniques to create a magical medieval scene out of clay. Our projects will be fired and glazed so that you can keep these treasures forever.

Digital Photography: Learn the basics of photography that will taking better photos than your parents. Once you learn how to take great photos we then learn how to make them look even better by using really cool filters and effects. We will explore lighting, action and composition in this hands-on workshop. Take action shots on the playground, close-ups of bugs, plants and leaves outside; fun and funky portraits of new and old friends. (max class size: 14)

Imagine If...: Their entire world is a stage as students explore the art of acting and improvisation through warm-ups, games and open scenes. Students learn how to use their vocal tone and volume, facial expression, and body language to express themselves effectively.  (max class size: 12)

Junior Galileos:  Students learn all about the planets, stars, comets and astroids while doing fun activities like building models, launching rockets and playing astro-games.  Students also get to go on an after-dark visit to a local observatory.

Comic Strip Workshop: Comics have evolved from the realm of Sunday funnies and drugstore magazine racks to college classes and the New York Times bestseller list, where they are now known as “graphic novels.” In this class, students will learn about the history of comic strips and graphic novels, and read them with an analytical eye. Students will create and share their own graphic stories and comics using the Comic Life computer program.

The Incredible Race: Do you enjoy puzzles and scavenger hunts? Do you enjoy playing and working with a team? Well, this class combines these along with the element of surprise. This class is a high-energy race around Bethke.  Along the way each team will encounter checkpoints that will challenge each group. In the end teams that support and encourage each other will ultimately win them the Incredible Race!

Dr. Jones Archeology School:  During this class you will get a crash course in the great adventure of archeology -- everything you need to work on our excavation site right behind Bethke. You learn how to sort and identify artifacts in our outdoor research laboratory. (max class size: 12 students)

LEGO Science: You won’t believe the cool things you can do when you combine LEGO robotics and science. We use special data probes and robots to collect information from very strange situations, like the surface of Mars, a toxic accident and from 200 feet in the air on a special kite platform. (max class size: 12 students)

Now, you might be wondering how on earth are we going to pull this off? Well, it turns out that a lot of our teachers have the skills to be able to teach these classes which came as a big surprise – who knew? ,And if there needs to be some skills learned, we’ll buy some books and use our Atomic Learning account to fill in the blanks, for example I already checked and found out that Atomic Learning has tutorials for using Comic Life which is part of our Comic Strip workshop.

So wish us luck as we step into the world of summer camps and helping our kids gain amazing 21t Century Skills.