AM PROGRAMS (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
Do you like developing strategies for winning Rock, Paper, Scissors? Do you use careful deduction to find Mr. Boddy’s killer in Clue? Do you have a system for solving Mastermind in the fewest moves? If so, or if you’d like to learn how, join this session! We’ll explore a wide variety of strategy-based games, from competitive zero-sum games like checkers to cooperative games like Pandemic. Using game theory, probability, and behavioral patterns, you can become a master of your favorite games and perhaps even create your own. Instructor: Kim Machnik, Acera Upper Elementary Teacher $275 This program is now FULL. Check on registration form to be waitlisted.
Make a pillowcase that wakes you up. A sock puppet with sensors. Try out electronic origami. Or let your own ideas flow! In this session, you can design your own interactive toys and gadgets. Learn how to connect physical and digital spaces by making them communicate. Craft circuits, solder, sew, snap and stick microcontrollers and sensors, write programs and make your own inventions come to life. Instructor: Danny Fain, Game Designer, Educator and Acera After School teacher $350 This program is now FULL. Check on registration form to be waitlisted.
It’s important to keep your valuables in a safe place. This week, you will learn how to make a hollow book safe and a chess/checkers board with a secret compartment that only you know how to open! Where else are you going to hide your pirate treasure map? Instructor: Mark Weinzierl, Acera Physic/Science teacher. $325 – This program is now FULL. Check on registration form to be waitlisted.
Do you want to learn how to shoot, edit and produce your own videos? Do you have story ideas for films you would like to make? Would you like to play with green screens, iMovie, Garageband and other tools to make cool film clips to share with your friends? In this session, students move beyond the scripted capacities of Instagram or Musica.ly to understand and apply the basics of film making, from story boarding to script writing to video production and editing, to creating their own accompanying music in Garageband. Students will present their films on the last day. Participants must bring a Mac computer (a limited number of Macbooks are available to rent for the week, please check in with us via email@example.com to inquire.) Instructor: Suzana Somers, Acera Tech Specialist and STEM Teacher $275
What are the simplest creatures considered alive? Those invisible things hiding in the bread we eat, in the soil beneath our feet, even in our stomachs? That’s right, bacteria! But what, exactly, are bacteria? How do they work? How do scientists even look for things you can’t see or, sometimes, smell? In this session, the youngest learners will explore the world of simple cell organisms. Students will run their own experiments, analyze their results and learn about the fascinating world of microbiology — by doing some real ‘bench science’ themselves! Instructor: Michael Hirsch, Acera Science Lab Manager, former biotech scientist and AP science teacher $375 This program is now FULL. Check on registration form to be waitlisted.
PM PROGRAMS (12 to 4 p.m.)
You like building in Minecraft but you are way beyond making houses and customizing your world? You have a basic understanding of coding but would like to learn more? Join us for this session and take your Minecreaft creations to the next level: Using Minecraft Forge, we will be creating mods to design massive structures, create custom characters and customize entire Minecraft worlds. We will be learning Java to do this, so to be successful students should have some coding experience or fluency with computer science tools. They also need a computer with Minecraft installed on it (a limited number of Macbooks are available to rent for the week, please check in with us via firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.). Instructor: Suzana Somers, Acera Tech Specialist and STEM Teacher $275 This program is now FULL. Check on registration form to be waitlisted.
Have you ever wondered how famous detectives solve the toughest mysteries? Together, we’ll explore different techniques for cracking even the most inscrutable case. We’ll learn about codes and ciphers, test methods of revealing invisible ink, use psychology to figure out “whodunnits,” hone our observation and deductive reasoning skills, and read and solve great mysteries. At the end of the week, we’ll even participate in our own live action mystery. Will you be the victim or the perpetrator? If you love puzzles, enigmas, and the thrill of the “aha!” moment, this is the session for you. Instructor: Kim Machnik, Acera Upper Elementary Teacher $275 This program is now FULL. Check on registration form to be waitlisted.
Tinker with electronics and smart materials to design playful objects. Craft your own interactive projects by hacking electronic toys and using some of their sensors or mechanisms in new ways. Explore and investigate ways to make toys talk, interact, and communicate. Instructor: Alisha Panjwani, Acera Design Learning and STEM TeacherPreneur. $350 This program is now FULL. Check on registration form to be waitlisted.
PM: Molecular Biology Discoveries (11-15)
Somewhere in the small print of our cells, life happens. How does that work? How do scientists know DNA from RNA? Join us in Acera’s state-of-the-art science lab for a week of discoveries in 21st century molecular biology. Design and run your own experiments, working with DNA, RNA, proteins and enzymes. Explore with an experienced, real-world scientist. And yes, we say real-world because this will be as hands-on as things get in biotech labs around Kendall Square. Instructor: Michael Hirsch, Acera Science Lab Manager, former biotech scientist and AP science teacher $375 This program is now FULL. Check on registration form to be waitlisted.