Upon registration, campers choose from one of four primary tracks, or “workshops,” where they spend 2½ hours each day working on projects they design as they explore their passion area:
Robotics - all sessions
In the Robotics Workshop, our campers become engineers, bringing their ideas to life through hands-on building and computer programming. Learning from experienced instructors, campers use a wide variety of tools to explore the mechanics of robots and the programming necessary to make them work. Campers are divided by grades and/or skill level to build a robot that completes a age-appropriate challenge that is intellectually stimulating, Jewish, and exciting!
Beginning campers will learn the basics of robot construction and programming. Working with gears, sensors, and motors, they teach their robots to accomplish a series of smaller challenges. Once they’ve mastered moving, turning, and sensing colors and distance, the campers collaborate to work on larger projects. Examples include Robot Soccer, our Passover themed Matzoh Ball Mania challenge, or a Rube Goldberg machine – a whimsical device using their robots to complete a basic task in the most convoluted way possible.
Campers attending for multiple years in robotics or more experienced campers have an opportunity to develop their learning further, where they will use similar tools with more complex modeling and programming with new projects and challenges. As campers move beyond the basic functions of robotics, they will begin to learn more about gear ratios, as well as more in depth programming that combines visual programming with coding in Robot C, a common programming language used for Robotics programming. With a greater understanding of robot mechanics, campers can customize their electrical circuitry and designs to create even more intricate robots.
Our program uses the VEX Robotics platform, a popular and advanced platform for robotics competitions. You can find robotics workshop wrap-up videos from last summer here.
Video Game Design - all sessions
The Video Game Design Workshop allows campers to bring their story or adventure to life on the screen. Using a variety of programming tools, campers will design their very own games. Our professional instructors carefully place campers in pairs or groups with similar goals to ensure that campers learn in the most supportive and collaborative environment possible. Campers are divided by grade and/or skills level into groups with campers sharing similar interests in the games they would like to design.
Campers with varying experiences can work with an array of tools. Tools and platforms used in past workshops include Scratch (perfect for beginners), Stencyl (great for 2D platformers and top-down games), Kodu (for campers interested in 3D game design), StarLogo (for campers who like 3D level and terrain design), Gamemaker, as well as Unity with Playmaker, a more advanced 3D platform for experienced game designers, used in professional settings across the globe. More experienced campers and returning campers will delve deeper into these tools or experience new platforms for designing games. There is an endless amount to learn when designing games! Working together, all campers will develop the story, game mechanics, characters, backgrounds and other elements of their video games. All campers can take home their games and continue creating their games back home!
Marine Biology: June 21 - July 3
Did you know that it’s easier to send a person up into space than it is to send them down to the bottom of the ocean? Water covers more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface, driving weather, regulating temperature, and ultimately supporting all living organisms. Yet for all our reliance on the ocean, more than eighty percent of this vast, underwater realm remains unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored!
Much remains to be learned from exploring the mysteries of the deep. Mapping, describing, and understanding the physical, biological, geological, chemical, and archaeological aspects of the ocean is a huge undertaking. To understand the dynamics of marine ecosystems we must develop and apply new technologies, strategies, and skills. There’s a lot of questions to ask in the field of marine science.
Chemistry: July 5 - 17
Let’s discover fundamental concepts of atomic theory, periodic properties of the elements, chemical bonding, molecules and compounds, molecular structure, states of matter and intermolecular forces, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics and solution chemistry. Campers will work in a lab, mixing their own chemicals with hands-on learning. We love a big bang so let’s find out how to make reactions!
Workshops are taught by our lead instructors, who are professional educators (such as science teachers) who bring both a passion for the subject and experience working with children. They are supported by college-age counselors majoring in fields of science and technology and actively engaged in learning and research.