After School Programs

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OVERVIEW

Registration for 2019-2020 Afterschool Programs is now open!

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Every day of the week, Monday through Friday, we run a variety of STEAM afternoon programs. Classes  are open to students ages 4-15 unless otherwise noted, and meet once a week, from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., for 9-13 weeks (unless there is a holiday.) We divide the school year into trimesters, so students enroll in a particular enrichment program for one trimester at a time.

Try it Out! Week, offered December 2-6, is an opportunity for both Acera and non-Acera students to sample a variety of different enrichment programs for just $10/day. Please note that Try it Out! Week classes may be larger than our full trimester programs, which are typically limited to 8-12 students.

  • Fall:  September 3 – November 26, 2019
  • Try it Out! Week – December 2-6, 2019
  • Winter:  December 9, 2019 – March 13, 2020
  • Spring:  March 16, 2020 – June 5, 2020

Pricing

The cost for our afternoon programs is $30 per day per child. 9 week classes are $270, 10 week classes are $300, 11 week classes are $330, and 13 week classes are $390 per trimester. 

Transportation

Winchester Public School buses run from Lincoln, Lynch, McCall and Muraco Schools to Acera’s After School programs upon request. Please list Acera as your After School Program bus stop on the transportation application. According to Winchester Public Schools, the deadline for submitting a transportation application for the 2019-2020 school year is July 22, 2019.

Forms

Health, dismissal, technology rentals and other required forms will be requested electronically after your online registration has been processed. New students will have to provide all forms, returning students will only be asked for updated forms as needed.

Our Approach

At Acera, we believe that deep exploration of STEAM subjects should begin early. Our hands-on learning environment allows elementary and middle school children to nurture their natural desire to inquire, create, and innovate; and experiment with content and concepts usually reserved for older students–or not introduced during K-12 school years at all.

With emphases on critical thought, creative problem solving, and integration of content areas, our programs inspire all types of learners and thinkers. Students discover engineering, biotechnology, math, arts, theater, design, electronics, music, chemistry, physics, teamwork, friendships — and who they are: as individuals, learners, and collaborators.

What to Expect

Our STEAM Learning Lab is designed to challenge students of all ages and learning styles. Participants should expect to tackle difficult, enticing problems, individually and in groups. They should anticipate taking the time to incorporate new techniques as they create unique works of art or design experimental protocols or novel engineering solutions.

SCHEDULE

Afternoon programs meet once a week, from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Acera School.

View the Registration form

Download the 2019-2020 Afterschool schedule.

 

MONDAY

Live Action Role Play Adventure Program (10+)
Have you ever wanted to seek treasure and uncover the secrets of the world? Battle brutal bandits, gruesome goblins, and deadly dragons? Find your way through the dungeon and claim the ancient treasure? Now you can in an interactive world of live-action roleplay (LARP). In a one-of-a-kind experience, you will explore community, art and self-discovery by becoming your own personal hero at the Zelmore Heroes Academy! You will learn a hero’s values, perspectives, and discipline as you adventure through the fantastic world of Etheraz from a new and unexplored area in the story’s world. Through themed games, art projects, and interactive theater, we will create a world of wonder, go on fantastic adventures, and discover magical mysteries. Led by LARP Adventure Program.

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Science Investigators (7-10)
Scientists are learners, observers, analysts, and explorers! Students will engage in inquiry-based investigations of complex scientific phenomena, using their senses and critical thinking skills to observe and describe their discoveries. Each trimester, we will dive into a different corner of scientific investigation: chemistry, biology, physics, and ecology. There is no prior knowledge of science needed, just a passion for the subject matter! Instructor: Acera Staff

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Set Design (5+)

Imagine the transformation of the playground into a haunted house walk through. Are goblins around the corner? Fairies nested in the tree canopy? Do motion sensors trigger a spooky, when crossed? Enter the world of make believe, and craft a world of wonder and whimsy for Halloween! Trimesters 2 and 3 will focus on set designs of other sorts. From rocket ship to pirate fleet, construct a world to play make believe in!

SSAT Prep (11+)
Preparing to take the SSAT test this Fall? Find support, fun, and challenge with Mr. Michael, an experienced tutor. Attend twice a week before the first exam (October 19). Students have the option to continue once weekly (Monday or Wedneday), until November 16, if they plan to retest. (Note: Register for continued tutoring in October) Instructor: Michael Hirsch, Acera Science Teacher, Lab Manager, Curriculum Creator

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TUESDAY

Woodshop and Engineering (10+)
Design and build your own wooden creations in our well-equipped wood shop! This class requires basic woodworking skills, including ability to select appropriate tools and use them safely; intermediate students will gain proficiency in new techniques such as carving. Advanced students will be able to customize their work and pick more complex projects. Open to Middle and High school students on a first come, first serve basis. Instructor: Josh Briggs, Acera Math and Engineering Teacher and Woodshop Manager

This class is FULL for Trimester 2. Please choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.

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Table Top Role Play/D&D (10+)
Create a character and dive into the game of Dungeons and Dragons, as we work together to solve mysteries, slay horrible beasts, and tell a fantastic story together. Experienced and new players are always welcome, as each story is new and unique, and designed to fit the characters and their players. (Accepts drop-ins/late pick-up) Instructor: Vered Brooks, MS1 Co-Core Teacher
This class is FULL for Trimester 1. Please choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
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Programming and Robotics (8+)
How are robots used in the real world, to improve the quality of human life and automate systems? How do computer scientists use input from sensors to modify output (what machines do)? Come explore these questions, and much more, using various robots, microcomputers and microcontrollers, including Arduinos, programming in several languages ranging from block languages (i.e. Scratch) to script-based languages (i.e. JavaScript, Python, and C++). Each trimester will introduce new challenges and thematic questions, so you can build on past experiences, or join as a new student. After taking this course, you will have a clearer understanding of the things that make modern robotic machines work! No previous experience necessary. Instructor: David Alsdorf, Acera Technology Specialist

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Film Soundtracking (7-10)
Learn the ins-and-outs of film soundtracking in this inventive class! Strip your favorite Pixar or Disney movie of its original sound effects and music, and add your own score. You’ll work together in a group to record beats. Explore not only digital soundtracking, but also creatively problem solving to create every day sounds. Need the sound of horse trotting? Coconuts clapping will do the trick. Adding rainy backdrop to dialogue? Try rice on a tin baking tray! Instructor: Dylan Foley, Acera songwriting teacher, instrument maker, and tinkerer

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3D Fantastical Creations (4-8)

Where would the Loch Ness Monster sleep? What kind of furniture would a troll have? In this hands-on class, kids create three-dimensional sets for animals, goblins, and fairies where fantastical drama unfolds! Miniature in scale, our dioramas will be contained in boxes of different styles and sizes, and will be transformed using a combination of hand-made and pre-made elements including clay, paint, paper, moss, twigs, and much more! In later trimesters, we will focus on a spectrum of hand-made toys, including marble labyrinths, “thaumatrope” animations, and mini-soccer fields. Instructor: Camila Garcia Enriquez, Acera Integrated Arts Specialist

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Theater (7-10)

Do you love telling a good story? Are you curious to try acting? This class explores the power, creativity, and comedy of words as you uncover the storyteller within! We will learn the basics of acting through fun drama games, improv, and simple scene work to help you feel like a star! This is a class for kids who are ready to have a ton of fun! Instructor: Vanessa Roman, theater and drama teacher

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Girls Who Code Club (8-18)

Learn to code in this FREE computer club for girls in grades 3-12! Note: this club meets from 6-7pm.

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WEDNESDAY

Debate and Logic Club (10+)

Debates are an important part of the political process (not just in an election year) but for some, they are also a team sport: You research an argument, then you use your creativity, logical thinking and powers of persuasion to argue – nope, not what you think, but both sides of the issue! In this program, you will improve your public speaking and research skills as you deeply explore topics in current affairs, and learn how to present an argument convincingly and concisely within a time limit (2-4 minutes!) You will learn how others think about an issue, and take many perspectives that help you understand and communicate effectively in a global society. Instructor: Acera Staff

This class is FULL for Trimester 1. Please choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.

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Cooking: Art, Science & Culture (7-10)
How does what we eat reflect who we are? Why do some cultures eat with chopsticks, others on banana leaves? Through a tour of food history, geography, and biology, deepen your knowledge and skills in the kitchen! Each class will explore concepts through hands-on cooking classes, ending in taste testing. Instructor: Dylan Foley, Acera songwriting teacher and cooking enthusiast

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Creative Computing, VR and Robotics Club (8+)
Build your computer science and robotics skills in a way that fits your potential! For screen-oriented projects, we will use Scratch and similar block-based coding tools. During physical-computing weeks, we will explore with kits such as LittleBits, MakeyMakey, and LEGO Boost. In each trimester, we will try out some new tools and methods, along with longtime favorites. (Rent an Acera Macbook for the trimester during registration; day-of computer rentals not guaranteed) Instructor: Danny Fain, Computer Science & Game Design Specialist

This class is full for Trimester 1. Please choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.

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Photoshop Pros (7-10)
What stories can be told with an altered image? From photojournalism to science, silly animations to graphic design, photo editing is a useful tool across the board. Using GIMP and Photoshop, you’ll learn the basics and have the chance to create the extraordinary! Instructor: Acera Staff

This class is FULL for Trimester 1. Please choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.

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Woodworking Jr. (6-8)
You want to hammer, saw, build real things, but there isn’t a safe place to do it? Join us in Acera’s woodshop for an introduction to basic woodworking for younger students. Learn how to use hand tools by building toy airplanes, pencil boxes, cars, moving wooden toys, and a tool tote! Students will focus on basic skill-building, while adding personal flair and style to their creations. Instructor: Acera staff 

This class is FULL for Trimester 2. Please choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.

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SSAT Prep (11+)
Preparing to take the SSAT test this Fall? Find support, fun, and challenge with Mr. Michael, an experienced tutor. Attend twice a week before the first exam (October 13). Students have the option to continue once weekly (Monday or Wednesday), until November 30, if they plan to retest. (Note: Register for continued tutoring in October) Instructor: Michael Hirsch, Acera Science Teacher, Lab Manager, Curriculum Creator

Register Now

THURSDAY

Homework Help (10+)

Homework Help is staffed with High School students from Cambridge School of Weston (CSW), as well as a supervisor and Ms. Vered. The primary purpose is writing coaching and support; however, if your student has homework that they are struggling to keep up with, this is an opportunity to dig in with knowledgeable coaches in a calm environment. Open to Middle School students only. Instructor: Vered Brooks, MS1 Core Teacher

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SEEDS: Electronics, Robotics & Computational Art (8-12)
What happens when you combine fashion with electronics, puppetry with robotics, cake design with programming, 3D printing with jewelry design? Are you a budding artist? A curious scientist? An enthusiastic engineer? A passionate storyteller? An innovative designer? Join us at the SEEDS StudioLab where we develop creative fluency; bringing together all these skills and blending boundaries between Sciences, Engineering, Esthetics, Design, and Storytelling. Together we will explore design skills and narrative thinking by doing hands-on projects with Tangible Computational Media. Some of the crafts include 3D design and printing, physical computing, generative art, projection/video mapping, paper engineering, robotics, and computational embroidery using tools such as TinkerCad, Scratch, TurtleStitch, MakeyMakey, Lego, Microbit, and Circuit Playground. Instructor: Alisha Collins, Acera SEEDS StudioLab founder, MIT Media Lab alum, author, and designer.

This class is FULL for the Fall Trimester. Please choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.

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Model UN Club  (10+)

Explore the big challenges of our time and open up your mind as an emerging world citizen. Engage in deep discussions about current events. Get exposure to primary sources and formative ideas in the political science, governmental, historical and philosophical landscape. Each trimester, participate in Model UN conferences in which you take on the perspective and voice of different countries, focusing on current issues. Through this experience, come to understand historical perspectives on the relationships between nations, their different beliefs and viewpoints, and broaden your perspective on the world. Develop your communication, writing and leadership skills through the Model UN Conference experience! (Registration cost includes one conference per trimester) Instructor: Alyssa Colby, Acera Core Teacher

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Programming Art (7-10)
Explore coding while making art! Whether using Scratch, JavaScript, or Python, students will develop familiarity with multiple languages, while experimenting with shapes, textures, patterns, and dynamic programs for creating artworks. We will find our inspiration in mathematics and in patterns found in the natural world. Bring together aesthetics, robotics, computer science and programmatic thought. No previous coding experience required. Instructor: David Alsdorf, Acera Technology Specialist

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Architectural Designers (4-7)
Our youngest builders are challenged to fabricate towering cathedrals, elaborate animal homes, porous hives, and more! Using math, geometry, and teamwork, students will build with a wide array of blocks, characters, and craft materials to make imagined structures a reality. Instructor: Ms. Jen, Acera Lower Elementary teacher and curriculum creator.

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FRIDAY

Rube Goldberg Machines (5+)
Each student group will design and build a Rube Goldberg machine that uses machines, joined together, to create a complicated device that can complete a very simple task. Study cartoons and inventions, and draft your own! Instructor: Acera staff
This class is FULL for Trimester 1. Please choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
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REGISTER

Registration for the 2019-20 school year is now open!

You can browse each weekday’s offerings on this page, and register for one or more after school programs via our registration form!