A Bug’s Life – Laura Dugan

Ants, spiders, and worms oh my! These were just a few of the bugs we observed and studied during It’s a Bug’s Life. Students got up close and personal to earthworms and mealworms; they even got to take some home for further observation or to place in their garden or compost. In addition, students worked with a partner to plan, design, and create individualized bug hotels. We did an ant experiment to see which types of foods ants would like the best; sugary, sweet food and greasy food were the menu favorites! The students were amazed to see how the ants loved the honey. Other insects, such as bees and flies, were also attracted to different foods on the various trays that we placed around campus. Each day the students loved to explore outside and carefully collect bugs in their jars and nets; we collected many millipedes, pill bugs, and even those noisy summer cicadas! The main theme for the week was to definitely have fun while we observed the behaviors of various bugs, but it was to also realize how important they are to our environment and maintaining a healthy, balanced ecosystem. View photos from this class here.

Cookienomics – Bekka Schultz

In CookiEnomics, Summer Scholars worked together to develop their own cookie companies. Early in the week, they researched their product by studying what makes a “good” cookie and taste-testing different ingredients. They split into groups and each company was tasked with creating a company name, product name, and deciding on a final recipe, which they then baked. Each company also developed their brand by designing a company logo, print advertisements, and filming a commercial. By far, the most popular activity of the week was tasting each company’s cookie on Friday! View photos from this class here.

Minecraft I – Virtual Architecture – Matt Hovern

In Minecraft Architecture, students were introduced to various styles of architecture and challenged to create their own buildings according to these different styles.  The types of architecture covered ranged from the ornate Victorian style to the complex and odd Modern style.  Students were instructed to create structures both independently and collaboratively.  While collaborating, students learned about the design process and the jobs of architects.  After planning and designing their builds on paper, students did their best to recreate their blueprints in Minecraft. View photos from this class here.

Graphic Artistry – Bob Campbell

This week the students all did an outstanding job of keeping up with a fast paced exploration of a great many Graphic Artistry skill sets. We went from exploring the basics of Photoshop with digital collages, to applying special FX & filters, to dabbling in the fine arts, to making web comics, and finally to graphic design. I was extremely impressed and pleased with how well everyone internalized the design principles we covered, and also with how much truly great work everyone produced. I hope the kids had as much fun as I did! It was truly a delight to work with a group of such enthusiastic, imaginative, talented, and positive students. View photos from this class here.

Lego Design Build III – Robotics – Mike Romea

This week was all about building your child’s interest in engineering and programming through robotics. I was not only impressed with their levels of prior knowledge, but inspired by their willingness to continue to learn new coding and design techniques. The kids loved testing out their design/programs and felt so proud when finally achieved success.  Our week was somewhat Rio 2016 themed as we designed robots to perform many Summer Olympic challenges: including a Track-bot, Golf-bot, Soccer-bot, basketball-bot, as well as a driving competition to get supplies and head to the airport.  We also explored brick only programs that centered around game design which truly forced some exploration of code and logic.  Lego robotics is a wonderful opportunity for children to take intellectual risks.  I hope each day we reinforced that perseverance and hard work truly pay off.  Add in critical thinking skills and collaboration and you have a formula for a wonderful week.  I encourage you to remind your child that our class Edmodo page will remain active and has some of their uploads as well as additional resources.  I can’t imagine a better way to start my summer than sharing my love of learning with your children. View photos from this class here.