Naturalist’s Guide to Outdoor Survival (8+)
There is a busy, complex web of life happening all around us, and we will use this week to take a closer look. We will spend the week in the woods, learning to identify animal signs and species, and examining the traits and adaptations of different organisms. Together we will learn how to navigate in nature, build a shelter, where to find food and water, how to stay cool on hot days and warm on cold days. We will learn the art of nature journaling, in the tradition of the great naturalists, using techniques including observational drawings, descriptive notes, data collections and reflections. Most importantly, we will discover ourselves in relation to the natural world. This is a full day program so students will spend hours in nature, moving around and exploring. They will need a light backpack suitable for walking, a lunch and two snacks, appropriate clothing (long pants, hiking shoes or sneakers, a hat or cap, bug spray, etc.) If you’ve taken Outdoor Survival with Mr. Mark before, you will find lots of new adventures in this session! Instructors: Kim Machnik, Acera Upper Elementary Teacher and Mark Weinzierl, Acera Physics/Science Teacher $650 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
AM PROGRAMS (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
AM: Molecular Biology Lab: Gene Editing (12-17)
Become a real-world scientist for a week: Join Michael Hirsch, a biotech scientist and teacher, in his Acera lab to find out how you can edit bacterial genomes using the CRISPR cas-9 technology. Yes, that’s the gene editing tool that is currently creating a buzz in the science world. It’s a unique technology that enables geneticists and medical researchers — and you — to edit parts of a genome by removing, adding or altering sections of the DNA sequence. It’s cutting edge-science, and you’ll get to do it. This is an experiment-based course, so you will learn the molecular biology concepts while you learn how to culture and grow bacteria, and while you run your own synthetic biology experiments. Here’s an NPR story on this innovative educational approach at our school. Instructor: Michael Hirsch, Acera Science lab manager and teacher $425 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
AM: Woodshop: Moon Calendar (10-15)
When we start planning summer programs at Acera, we ask our students: What are some favorites we should definitely offer during camp? The Moon Calendar came up a lot, so here it is: A woodshop session that allows you to use many different tools and explore different aspects of woodworking while making something truly beautiful (for yourself or as a gift!) In this session, you’ll be working with a scroll saw, band saw, lathe, stationary saws, and hand tools, to make a moon calendar (see photo). No prior woodworking experience required. Instructor: Marie Delaney, Acera Arts & Construction Coach $325 This class is no longer being offered. Please check out our other woodworking classes!
AM: Augmented Reality Game Design (8-12)
Do you like “Pokemon Go”? In this session, you will be able to design and develop your own location-based augmented reality mobile videogame! Using the TaleBlazer programming platform, we’ll show you how you can turn your game ideas into reality, and have your players interact with both virtual objects and the real-world environment. No prior programming knowledge required. Students bring their own computer. (Acera can provide a Macbook for a fee, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.) Instructor: Danny Fain, Acera Computer Science & Game Design teacher $295 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
Jewels, gems, and jade. Bronze, brass, and beads. How have cultures around the world thought of jewelry? Based on religion, environment, and rituals, cultures around the world use a spectrum of motifs and materials for bodily adornment. Come explore the world through the jewelry of its occupants, and find inspiration to make jewelry of your own! Instructor: Vered Brooks, Acera Cross-Classroom Teacher $295
Can you build a structure strong enough to carry your weight? With limited materials? Can you create a structure so light it can fly far? Work in teams to design and build structures and shapes using diverse materials that maximize strength, stability, buoyancy and other forces in individual and team challenges. Learn woodshop skills and physics while you design with others. Instructor: Adam Rosell, Acera Creativity Morning Coach $295
PM PROGRAMS (12 to 4 p.m.)
PM: Design Lab: Wearables to Track Health & Wellbeing (12-17)
Welcome to the Acera Incubator. Join us this summer for this unique product design & development experience. Use design thinking to hack some existing, health-tracking wearables, or create your own. Learn about Skin-Intelligence, and explore how it might be used to better understand people’s health. The skin is a complex, multilayered system that holds our body together — it is our largest body organ that not only protects us against heat and light, injury, and infection but also serves as a knowledge gathering device, responds to heat, cold, pleasure and pain. We will explore properties of the human body such as electrodermal activity (EDA), which causes continuous variation in the electrical characteristics of the skin. You will be introduced to physical computing, experimenting with health sensors and trackers, and designing and prototyping an actual product. Who knows what you might invent? Instructor: Alisha Panjwani, Designer, Educator and Acera STEM TeacherPreneur $425
PM: Soap Box Design (10-15)
Did you know that Soap Box cars go faster the lower the driver’s seat? Or that bigger tires aren’t necessarily better? Join us for a week of soap box making. We’ll have components to choose from, you’ll get to design and build in teams of two. And yes, there will be lot’s of testing our designs, and races on the last day. Instructor: Adam Rosell, Acera Creativity Morning Construction Coach $325
PM: TableTop Role Play (D&D) (10-15)
Create a character and dive into the wonderful world 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. Instructor: Vered Brooks, Acera Middle School Teacher $295 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
PM: Science for Curious Kids (7-10)
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 $350
PM: 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 strength! Instructors: Vanessa Roman, Acera Mindfulness, Theater and Health teacher, and Mark Lyman, Acera Creativity Morning and After school teacher $295
PM: Hack, Repurpose, Reinvent: Engineering with Found Objects (7-10)
Can you make a clock without using an electric motor — maybe utilizing water to move the handles? Can you design a vehicle from spare parts that can navigate a little obstacle course? Maybe you can repurpose a fan from an old computer to power its sail? In this program, we will be taking apart old, broken machines — computers, DVD players, household devices — and figure out what’s inside them. Then we’ll use the pieces that are functional (in the originally intended but also in new ways!) and make something new, creative and fun out of them. You know, maybe a remote control that pushes a lever that opens a drawer that starts a marble… Bring your family’s broken things, and your imagination! (Old electronics only, no fluorescent bulbs or other items that can contain hazards.) Instructors: Kara Williams, Acera counselor, and David Olsen, Acera Tech Specialist and teacher $325