Opportunities that fall outside our regularly scheduled program.
The greatest adventure is knowing yourself and connecting to the world around you. We invite you to explore your most immediate world in a new way, to discover something new about yourself and your surroundings. More details here. (Original artwork by Rudy Van Daele.)
Facilitator extraordinaire Gabriel Mellan (former creative director of the Washington, DC-area KID Museum and educator at San Francisco’s Exploratorium; read more about him and his approach here) will be leading a four-day workshop on making ElectroTins—turning little mint tins into crazy and creative optical illusions using simple circuitry.
“Control motor speed and melt minds with wild patterns,” as Gabriel puts it. "This workshop will introduce really basic circuitry concepts to participants, as we design and build small, spinning sculptures. Participants will explore inventive ways of transforming recyclables to house their creations and hide their circuitry. We will experiment with optical illusions and complex patterns attached to the motors in our sculptures."
Dates: Monday, June 29 - Thursday, July 2, 2020
Ages: 9 to 12 (and mature enough to meet the requirements listed below)
Hours: 1:30 – 4pm ET
Cost: This camp is being offered at cost—$145 for the camp program plus $150 for the kit containing materials and tools (many of them reusable for future projects) that will be mailed to you. (Total cost = $295.)
Size: Camp will be limited to eight children
Each morning will open up with a group session, which will include group discovery of components, questions posed to each other, and sharing our discoveries. Gabriel, in his role as the facilitator, will pull together what the participants have discovered into a short introduction of a concept, process, or a way to use a tool.
After the full group discussion, the online workshop will shift into small breakout rooms within the Zoom platform, to allow for one-on-one coaching in 10-to-15-minute segments. Those not in a one-on-one session will work on their projects, draw ideas out, and connect with others in the workshop. Participants can opt to turn their microphone and camera off, but will stay in the group room so that co-learning and support can occur through Zoom’s chat feature.
The last 40 minutes of the workshop will have everyone together as a full group, and will focus on sharing individual struggles and breakthrough moments. Gabriel will then wrap up the day with a seed to think about for the following day.
Gabriel's answers to some anticipated questions from children (and their parents):
Can I do this?
Because this workshop is focused on building autonomy and agency through hands-on making, it is important that the project is 100% yours. So is the workspace, the mess you make (and we will!), how you clean up, and the mistakes you make. You can ask for help when you need it, but other people can’t do it for you. Parents aren’t allowed to touch your project without asking you either.
You will also need to know how to connect your headphones with your computer, change the audio and video settings in Zoom, and have a workspace that you can keep set up for the whole workshop. You will need your own email account.
We will be using real tools and manipulating materials in unique ways. You will have to slow down, stay organized, and manage your safety.
Is it difficult?
You will have moments of frustration and failure, as well as times to celebrate the struggle and shout out loud because you figured it out.
"This is [my daughter's] first online workshop/camp/class. She loves your class! Thank you." -- S.D. (Maryland)
"[My daughter] is loving it! ... Thank you so much for providing this! It's extremely well run and planned and giving her something I cannot!" -- L.D. (California)
Learning is an adventure, and the greatest adventure is knowing yourself and connecting to the world around you. We are therefore inviting you to explore your most immediate world—your room, kitchen, home, back yard, or whatever else you can readily access—to discover something new about yourself and your surroundings. Experienced in the company of skilled facilitators and a cohort of peers, this close-to-home adventure can serve as a stepping stone to grander life adventures.
This camp experience is guided by the idea that the most satisfying educational experiences are built on a foundation of good feelings, which lead to good thoughts, actions, and communication. These all reinforce each other in a virtuous cycle, and encourage openness and receptivity to learning about all sorts of things. A person who feels good, and who experiences a balanced blend of mentorship/guidance and agency/autonomy, can see many things more clearly and experience them in a new way.
The camp will offer opportunities to practice intra-personal intelligence, self-reliance, self-connection, and self-expression in a fun, creative and playful way, guided by two highly experienced facilitators who, between them, have been running innovative children's programs for several decades in Europe and in New York City. In each session, we will play and offer various ways to explore your space, through movement, art, writing, and story-telling. Rudy will guide you in the fun and creative ways to engage your body in space. Svetlana will support you in generating ideas, expressing them, and sharing in your own way.
It will be a blend of individual and group online and offline exploration. We will also create a group Miro visual board (an online community bulletin board) of all the adventures to share and celebrate on our last day of camp.
Dates: Monday, August 3 - Thursday, August 6, 2020
Location: Online and offline (your room, home, back yard, and any other space available for exploration).
Ages: 9 to 12 (and mature enough to meet the requirements listed below); family members are welcome to join for the wrap-up celebration at the end of the final day
Hours: 10a.m. – 1p.m. ET
Cost: $220 (there is also a 10% sibling discount)
Size: Camp size will be limited to 12, to allow for personal interactions.
"Where in your home is comfort, creativity, and adventure?
What do you do during the day that will become your dream?
Happily rested, close your eyes, and discover your new best self…"
-- Rudy Van Daele
Our intention is to run this camp with a group of children that are likely to work well together. If you’re interested, please send an email with your child’s name and age, and a brief note explaining what you hope they would get out of this camp, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested families are encouraged to express their interest soon.