April camps

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Overview

Welcome to Acera’s April Vacation Camp!

Learn how to draw and explore in Virtual Reality, discover the art and science of cooking, create your own critter bot, and more!  You can browse our offerings by SCHEDULE or by PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS, via the tabs above. Below you will find details about logistics and our approach. Questions? Contact us at office@aceratest.wpengine.com

Register for Acera’s April Vacation Camps

Acera Vacation Camp, April 16-19, 2019.

Timing:

AM session: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (students should bring a snack, lunch optional)

PM session: 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. (students should bring a snack, lunch optional)

Full day: 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. (students should bring 2 snacks and a lunch)

Pricing:

Half Day: $70

Full Day: $130

FINANCIAL AID:

Limited financial aid is available and awarded based on demonstrated need. Please email us at summercamp@aceratest.wpengine.com to request a Scholarship Application.

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.

Browse by Schedule

 

 

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Full Day Programs

Architecture: Biomimicry Design Studio (7-10)

From crystal structures to termite mounds and silkworm threads, designers, more than ever, are looking toward nature for inspiration. In this workshop, we will explore how biomimicry borrows nature’s blueprints and you will design and build an architectural sculpture inspired by those ‘blueprints’ and structures. Instructor: Estee Hill, Acera Architecture Teacher

Register

Forts, Fantasy & Friends (5-8)

There are magical creatures out there, from fairies to brownies to trolls to narcoblixes… We better be equipped and well-trained when we meet them! This program is for everyone ready to jump times zones, step through portals into the otherworld, enter preserves of magical creatures, and all around leave realism behind. We’ll build a clever fort in our nature playground (it will have all the right protections so invisible invaders can’t enter), make costumes and other props we need, design our own characters, and spend our days in a world only we can imagine together. Instructor: Dylan Foley, Acera songwriting teacher, instrument maker, and tinkerer

Register

Woodshop: Dugout Canoes (8-12)

In this exciting one day class, students will shape the outside of a model wooden canoe from a block of wood, then burn out the interior. They will use a process similar to that used by Native Americans and other indigenous communities throughout the world. Each student will leave for home with a model canoe that can be used in the water! Instructor: Josh Briggs, Acera Engineering, Woodshop and Math Specialist

Register

Woodshop: Tabletop Wooden Games (8-12)

Students will design and build a tabletop game from a set of materials provided such as plywood, wooden strips, marbles and springs. Each game will be unique, and students will have a chance to write rules and play-test them if time allows. There will be basic woodworking instruction for the simple cuts and finishing required for this project. Instructor: Josh Briggs, Acera Engineering, Woodshop and Math Specialist

Register

 

 

Woodshop: Penny Boards (10-15)

Students will design and build their own skateboards from a fixed size plywood base and set of hardware and wheels. This smaller size skateboard deck is inspired by those sold by Penny Skateboards. You will have choice in the design of the board and will use woodworking tools to shape and finish the deck. If there is time, you may paint or stain it. If you plan on testing it out during this day please bring a helmet to school. Students will leave with a working skateboard! Instructor: Josh Briggs, Acera Engineering, Woodshop and Math Specialist

Register

Morning Programs

Advanced Block Building (4-7)

Young students take on building challenges while learning about math, geometry, architectural design, and more! Patience, perseverance, and teamwork are tested here to make an exquisite, life-sized elaborate structure! Instructor: Jenifer Demko, Acera Lower Elementary Teacher

Register

 

 

Art & Science of Cooking (7-10)

How is cooking art, and how is it science? Sharpen your understanding of basic cooking principles and technical skills (including use of knives). You’ll learn chemistry, physics, and eat the results! Instructor: Dylan Foley, Acera songwriting teacher, instrument maker, and tinkerer

This class is full on Thursday, April 18 in the AM. Please choose this date on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted. There is still space on Thursday 4/18 in the PM session!

Register

 

 

Backyard Ninjas (7-10) 

Sometimes, students have the best ideas: What if we combine escape-room type challenges, team building and American Ninja Warrior in one, they asked. Can we do that? Yes we can! Join us for a week of fun challenges that will allow you to move, problem solve and make friends, and build both your mental and physical strengths! Instructor: Dylan Foley, Acera songwriting teacher, instrument maker, and tinkerer

This class is currently full on Friday, April 19. Please choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted. There is still space on Tuesday, 4/16!

Register

 

Creative Constructions (4-7)

Wood, wire, rocks, and gems will be used to create tree houses, bridges, ladders, gardens and playgrounds for fancifully fairies, tipsy trolls, or other imagined creatures! Start collecting bark, moss, acorns, and seed pods now that we will turn into furniture, and accessories for our tiny constructions! Instructor: Jenifer Demko, Acera Lower Elementary Teacher

Register

 

Decoding DNA (7-10)

Can you bring back animals from extinction? Or clone a human? Do you wonder about the code of life? Come explore the chemical structure of DNA through hands-on projects, learn about real world relevance and scientific developments, and lean into your questions about this essential facet of our lives! Instructor: Alexis Daniels, educator, culinary instructor, and Acera Enrichment program manager

Register

 

 

Design like Nature (7-10)

From crystal structures to termite mounds and silkworm threads, designers, more than ever, are looking toward nature for inspiration. Join us to explore how biomimicry borrows nature’s blueprints and design like birds and bugs! You will be guided through the design process and learn some useful construction tricks along the way. Join us as we consult the planet for advice on innovative forms and structures!  

Instructor: Estee Hill, Acera Architecture Teacher

Register

 

Drawing in Virtual Reality (10-14)

Imagine you can draw not just on the piece of paper in front of you, but all around you. You can paint a house, and then make it bigger and walk inside to draw a living room, a kitchen, the family dog. It’s called 3D drawing, and made possible by VR technology. Join us during vacation week to try it out: Learn about how Virtual Reality works, and how you can use it to draw and create art in entirely new ways. No prior experience required. Instructor: Kara Williams, Acera school counselor

This class is FULL on Tuesday, April 16. Please choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.

Register

Improv 101 (8+) – CANCELLED

Students will be on their feet exploring laugh-filled exercises and skill-driven “shortform” games. Structured, simple play guides each improviser to experience individual success, discover the joy of ensemble support, and provide a simple introduction to comedy. Instructor: Jacki Carlson, Acera Theater Teacher

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LEGO Robotics (8+)

Use LEGO Mindstorms kits to build and program simple machines, toys, and robotics systems! Learn about motors and a variety of sensors, and how they communicate with one another through a computer. Develop your programming skills by working with more complex robots that have been built in advance by a master builder! Please note: you will not be able to take home robots when the program ends.  Instructor: David Alsdorf, Acera Artist-in-Residence and Computer Science teacher

Register

 

Not a Box (5-7)

Well, what is it then? Rocket ship, boat, clock tower, bunker, time machine. Enter the world of make believe. Your cardboard material is anything and everything BUT a box. Join friends on an adventure of the imagination. Create a utopian village with your friends, the architects! Instructor: Jenifer Demko, Acera Lower Elementary Teacher

 

 

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SEEDS Computational Critters (7-10)

Explore robotic creatures that sense, react and perform using microcontrollers and craft materials! We will be exploring Micro:bit and Circuit Playground Express boards with servo motors, color changing LED lights and remote controllers. Instructor: Kyle Browne, Artist, Acera Creativity Morning and Afterschool Teacher

 

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Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice (7-10) CANCELLED

Flavor is complex. Taste and smell receptors send messages to the brain; this mingling mixture triggers memories, watering mouths, and a whole range of emotions! In this class, we’ll explore the science of olfaction, and cook a range of creative concoctions in the kitchen – adding salt to amplify sweetness, heat to give a kick, and acid to brighten a dish!

Instructor: Alexis Daniels, educator, culinary instructor, and Acera Enrichment program manager

Register

Afternoon Programs

Art & Science of Cooking (7-10)

How is cooking art, and how is it science? Sharpen your understanding of basic cooking principles and technical skills (including use of knives). You’ll learn chemistry, physics, and eat the results! Instructor: Dylan Foley, Acera songwriting teacher, instrument maker, and tinkerer

Register

 

 

Build a LEGO World

This session is a Lego builders dream: a mountain of Legos and friends to build with! Join us as we design and build our own Lego world. It can include anything you want: a town center, a mall and a football stadium; a part where the magical creatures live, a mountain range with wild animals… We’ll work alone and in teams, and learn about design principles, teamwork and how to best communicate our ideas as we build. Instructor: Dylan Foley, Acera songwriting teacher, instrument maker, and tinkerer

Register

 

Creative Constructions (4-7)

Wood, wire, rocks, and gems will be used to create tree houses, bridges, ladders, gardens and playgrounds for fancifully fairies, tipsy trolls, or other imagined creatures! Start collecting bark, moss, acorns, and seed pods now that we will turn into furniture, and accessories for our tiny constructions! Instructor: Jenifer Demko, Acera Lower Elementary Teacher

 

Register

 

Curious Cooks (10-14)

Chemistry surrounds us in the kitchen. Learn how to apply your curiosity about science to become a next-level cook! We’ll review some basic tricks in the kitchen, and cook a meal from scratch, using knives, stoves, and a range of tools. Instructor: Alexis Daniels, educator, culinary instructor, and Acera Enrichment program manager

 

Register

 

Edible Experiments (7-10)

“Eat your homework” is our motto in Edible Experiments! Learn about chemical reactions, acid-base chemistry, and tricks of molecular gastronomy through our laboratory investigations! Instructor: Alexis Daniels, educator, culinary instructor, and Acera Enrichment program manager

 

 

Register

 

Film Club (7-10)

Theater, movie making and other forms of storytelling are great ways to get creative and make new friends! Put on a scene, film and cut a video clip, or bring your own ideas and make your story come to life. Build confidence in how to enter a group, work with others and have fun as part of a team. Instructor: Kara Williams, Acera school counselor and Acera Newsroom Coach

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Poetry & Picnics (4-7)

Gain inspiration from the cumulus above, verdant grass, and patterned blanket! Develop a love of books, the outdoors, and wordplay in this picnic centered class. Students will act out story lines, make dolls or model of their literary heroines and heroes, and develop their confidence reading! Instructor: Jenifer Demko, Acera Lower Elementary Teacher

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Physical Computing Clubhouse (8+)

This course offers an introduction to the Scratch programmable medium, in which children can make art, animations, stories and games. In addition to Scratch, the clubhouse will introduce children to several technologies that allow Scratch to connect with the physical environment. These technologies include MakeyMakey (replace computer keys with fruits and vegetables), PicoBoard (use readings from a light sensor, potentiometer slider, on/off switches, etc. as inputs to your Scratch project), and LEGO WeDO (program a LEGO creation with Scratch using a small motor, or control a Scratch project using LEGO bricks).  Instructor: David Alsdorf, Acera Artist-in-Residence and Computer Science teacher

Register

Sketch Writing 101 (8+) – CANCELLED

What is a “sketch,” exactly, and how do you write one? In this 2.5 hour course, students will be introduced to the basic concepts of sketch writing and then taught to write their first original comedic sketch of their own. By the end of class, we’ll put the sketch up and practice acting in it! Instructor: Jacki Carlson, Acera Theater Teacher

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Woodshop: Musical Makers (5-7)

In this class, we will make homemade instruments using traditional and improvised parts. From percussion to stringed instruments, campers will design their unique instrument, use the available supplies, and assemble it! After making revisions and decorating, the young musicians will learn to tune their creations. Instructor: Dylan Foley, Acera songwriting teacher, instrument maker, and tinkerer

Register

 

Woven Wonders (7-10)

Use weaving to create sculptural architecture. We will look at nature and contemporary architecture for inspiration, creating unique birdhouses for your spring garden. Explore the ways in which architects use tension to innovate lightweight portable architecture  – and finally, make yours glow in the dark! Instructor: Estee Hill, Acera Architecture Teacher

Register