Live Action Role Play (LARP) (10-15)
Have you ever wanted to seek treasure and uncover the secrets of the universe? Battle brutal bandits, gruesome goblins and unworldly undead? Do you have what it takes to slay dragons, find your way through the dungeon and claim the ancient treasure? Step into an interactive theater world, armed with sword and sorcery. Become the hero you have always dreamed of and save the lands of Etheraz from the great shadow! Students may sign up for any number of weeks of LARP. Led by LARP Adventure Program $535
AM PROGRAMS (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
AM: Metal Casting (10+)
Why buy cool metal figurines if you can make them yourself? In this introduction to the art of metal casting, you will learn how to make different types of molds and create your own unique metal figures and artwork — imaginary creatures, animals, pendants, flowers, or any other creation you want to try out. We’ll be experimenting with clay, plaster, rubber and sand casts, and explore best ways to melt and work with molten metal. Instructor: Mark Weinzierl, Acera Physics/Science Teacher $350 One spot left! Please email email@example.com to see if space remains.
AM: Food Systems: Edible Plants & Spice Mysteries (10-15)
Only 200 out of 10,000 edible plant species are used by humans, and only three plants – rice, maize, and wheat – contribute nearly 60 percent of the calories and proteins obtained by humans from plants. Let’s get more creative than that! In this program, we’ll visit a local spice business – Curio Spice Co. – to learn about the unique flavors of other climates, from Malaysia to India to Vietnam, and investigate approaches to preserve the Earth’s fantastic food biodiversity. We’ll discover some surprises in the evolution of human diets, and investigate the parts of plants we eat – from roots, stems and leaves to seeds, buds, and flowers. We’ll investigate the relationship between people, culture, and environment, tasting as we go! Instructor: Alexis Daniels, Educator, Co-Founder of Eastie Farms and Acera Enrichment Program Manager $325
AM: Advanced Printmaking (10-15)
Do you like art, and a challenge? Printmaking isn’t just a satisfying, hands-on way to make beautiful pieces of art, it also requires you to turn your thinking upside down in interesting ways! When you take your drawings to wood, plastic or linoleum plates, you also have to envision your desired image in reverse — what’s usually left is now on the right, and vice versa. It’s a wonderful way to stretch our imagination and visual thinking while immersing in a creative experience, from etching out the plates to playing with colors and effects as we run print after print. In this advanced class for older students, we will be trying out several different techniques, experiment with negative and positive areas (are you printing the lines you are carving or the surface of the material you are leaving behind?) and, who knows, maybe we’ll even get to print in multiple colors. Instructor: Chris Woodard, Artist and Acera Creativity Morning coach $295
AM: Science of Wood (7-10)
Once you have touched a few trees or even just branches, you already know it: one wood is not like the other! Cherry wood feels different from oak feels different from birch upon touch, and of course they all have different colors and creases as well. The most important building material in the world for the past 5000 years, wood itself hosts a world of wonders — not to mention all the things we can make with this precious material. In this session, we will look at wood through the lenses of physics, biology, chemistry, ecology and history; and we will explore the art and the beauty of one of nature’s most versatile materials. We’ll be outside in the woods exploring and collecting samples, and inside in the woodshop analyzing found and other woods as we build with many different types of, well, wood! Instructor: Alta Tarala, Acera Creativity Morning woodshop coach $325
AM: Make a Rube Goldberg Machine with Props & Robots (7-10)
Rube Goldberg machines teach the basics of cause and effect. Choose your concept or goal (“Water a house plant,” “Get rid of a mouse,” “Wipe your shoes of mud”), and design the steps to trigger movements – one after the next – until your vision is realized. What if we invented one such machine, consisting not just of props, but also of robots? In this program, students will first explore a full range of robot functions using Lego Mindstorms. Then, they will be challenged to develop their concept and build a one-of-a-kind Rube Goldberg Machine! This is an entry level robotics class; prior experience is not necessary. Instructor: Instructor: Rachel Kramer, Tufts Center for Engineering Education Outreach, Applied Mathematics & Engineering Teacher $325 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
AM: Make a Music Box (7-10)
Pick up basic construction skills while making a beautiful music box! From building the frame and lid to carving, wood-burning or painting decorations, you’ll get to do it all yourself with this great combination arts & construction project. Learn how to plan your project, and how to use hammers, coping saws and a mitre saw, and other basic woodworking skills, with the help of our experienced teachers. Instructor: Marie Delaney, Acera Arts & Construction Coach $350 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
AM: Science for Curious Kids: Chemistry (7-10)
Why can’t you trust an atom? Because they make up everything… It’s a joke second and third grade students at Acera can’t stop telling, and we think it’s because they are having so much fun in our science lab figuring out how atoms actually do that (and why!). Join us for a session in basic chemistry for the youngest learners, where students will be able to run their own experiments and work like real scientists for a week. We’ll explore acid-based chemistry, electro-chemistry, and we’ll be doing some cool experiments exploring chemical reactions and their classifications. Be prepared to watch ink disappearing from paper! Instructor: Michael Hirsch, Acera Science Lab Manager, Former Biotech Scientist and AP Science Teacher $350 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
AM: Messy Art (5-7)
Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and get messy? Painting, collage, sculpture and printmaking will be explored in this week-long art experience. Expect to spend lots of time outside and working on large surfaces. Instructor: Jenifer Demko, Acera Lower Elementary Teacher $325 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
PM PROGRAMS (12 to 4 p.m.)
PM: 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.
PM: Woodshop: Intermediate Woodworking (11-15)
You know your basic construction skills and want to learn more. You want to make something original and beautiful, and dig in to craft a real piece of furniture. In this session, you can do that, and more! Make a dovetail keepsake box, using traditional joinery, bringing your own creative touch to some of the detail work. Learn to work with advanced machine and hand tools such as saws, chisels, our table and chop saws as well as the lathe. Instructor: Marie Delaney, Acera Arts & Construction Coach $350 More spots available, with Josh Briggs, Acera Woodshop Manager!
PM: Fluid Dynamics (9+)
Fluid dynamics will be a week of experimentation and thinking on the subject with Nicole Notaro, one of our Upper Elementary teachers with a deep STEM bend. Main learning goals include: fluids are not liquids (air is a fluid!); the physical sciences are fun; how can we formulate questions that can be answered by science via the experiments we set up?; experiment design; confidence in inquiry as opposed to ‘having to know everything’. Students will explore why atmospheric pressure keeps us down (it’s not just gravity’s fault!), why boats float (really), why paper lanterns fly (nope, it’s not the heat) and other fun questions. Instructor: Nicole Notaro, Acera Upper Elementary Teacher
PM: Film Making Club (7-10)
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 some of 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.) Instructor: Acera Counselor and Creativity Morning Newsroom teacher Kara Williams. $275
PM: Printmaking (7-10)
Do you like art, and a challenge? Printmaking isn’t just a satisfying, hands-on way to make beautiful pieces of art, it also requires you to turn your thinking upside down in interesting ways! When you take your drawings to wood, plastic or linoleum plates, you also have to envision your desired image in reverse — what’s usually left is now on the right, and vice versa. It’s a wonderful way to stretch our imagination and visual thinking while immersing in a creative experience, from etching out the plates to playing with colors and effects as we run print after print. Join us to explore this ancient art form dating back to the 4th century AD, and invent your own iterations on the process as you go. Instructor: Chris Woodard, Artist and Acera Creativity Morning coach $295
PM: Young Explorers: Lights and the Cosmos (8-12)
Have you ever wondered how scientists learn about far away planets and stars? How those neon signs in front of stores work? In this session, we’ll explore the mysteries of space, while learning about chemistry and electromagnetic radiation. We’ll do experiments that will change the way you think about the universe! Instructor: Kristen Nichols, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Graphic Designer & Curriculum Creator $325
PM: Fairy & Troll House Construction (5-7)
Wood, wire, rocks, and gems will be used to create tree houses, bridges, ladders, gardens and playgrounds for fancifully fairies and tipsy trolls. 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 $325