Week 6 — July 16-20

FULL DAY

Research Internship Week I (12-17)

In this unique offering, students will work on a research project, just like graduate students in a scientist’s lab, under the mentorship of Gus Halwani, an MIT-trained neuroscientist and Acera’s Director of Research and Assessment. Students can bring their own research questions or projects, join and existing project, or develop an inquiry and hypothesis after an introduction. They will learn how to ask questions that can be answered via research, how to organize their inquiry, and expand their knowledge on the subject they pick. Interdisciplinary projects welcome! Given the time needed to meaningfully explore the process of scientific inquiry, students are strongly encouraged to sign up for both Research Internships weeks. We piloted this approach last year and as a result, two students — one current and one former Acera student now in High School — created a VR intervention that aims at mitigating fear of public speaking. Mentor: Gus Halwani, MIT-trained neuroscientist and Acera’s Director of Research and Assessment $750

AM PROGRAMS  (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

AM: Woodshop: Make Your Own Skateboard (11-15)

Always wanted to make your own Skateboard? Join us, and design and build your own mold to customize your deck shape. Then build the deck using a modern laminating process using your mold, hardwood veneers, wood glue and a vacuum press. This produces a deck as strong and attractive as most commercially available skateboard decks. After final shaping with woodworking tools, students may paint or otherwise decorate their decks. Add trucks, wheels, hardware and grip tape to complete your own skateboard and test it out on the playground! (Note: base materials provided, students can bring additional materials to customize, e.g. a specific set of wheels, at their own cost.) Instructor: Josh Briggs, Acera engineering and math teacher, wood shop manager $350

AM: Biomimicry in Architecture: Lamp Edition (10-15)

Nature is loaded with beautifully packaged structures that we can use as inspiration to create novel designs. In this workshop, you will design and build a light fixture inspired by organic forms found in flora and architecture structures. To kick off our biomimicry exploration we will do basic plant dissection in the studio and look at ways in which designers have made the leap from natural object to a refined product made for man. You will be guided through the design process and learn some useful construction tricks along the way. For this project, your pallet includes cardstock, vellum, paper, flexible plywood sheets, balsa wood, reed.  Allow your imagination to bloom, create your own unique light fitting! Instructor: Estee Hill, arichtect, educator and Acera cross classroom teacher

AM: Hamilton & Hip Hop (10-15)

You may know all the words to “Alexander Hamilton’ or ‘Helpless’ or ‘My Shot.’ You may be working on getting the entire LaFayette rap from ‘Guns’n ships’ straight, knowing it’s the fastest rap on Broadway, at 19 words per second. You may have seen the WGBH documentary about the musical and its creator Lin Manuel Miranda, hoping for insights into how he made this magic thing. Or you may just like singing along to the musical! If Hamilton and Hip Hop are your thing, join Acera teacher and acclaimed Hip Hop artist Anthony Reynolds (here is his latest album on NPR) for a week of exploring what makes this musical great, and how you can get started on composing your own rhymes and rhythms. Adapt a historic theme or take your observations about the world around you to your own lyrics, and play with music, words and sounds to create your own songs. Instructor: Anthony Reynolds, Acera Art and Music Teacher

AM: Physical Computing Clubhouse (8-12)

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). David Alsdorf, TUFTS Center for Engineering Education and Outreach teacher, researcher, curriculum developer and artist.

AM: Neighborhood Ecology & Nature Journaling (7-10)

E.O. Wilson, the famous biologist, was 13 when he made a significant discovery: a non-native insect species was spreading in his Alabama hometown in 1942. He found it by looking closely at little things that escaped others’ notice: fire ants! From the tiny ant to the towering oak, every living thing has secrets to discover. In this session, we’ll discover the complex web of life right outside our doors. Uncover the reason why squirrels always build their nests on the same side of the tree, learn how to tell if a deer has recently visited your backyard, and call birds out from their hiding places so you can identify them. We will practice the art of nature journaling, in the tradition of the great naturalists, using techniques like observational drawings, descriptive notes, data collection, and reflections. Most importantly, we will discover ourselves in relation to the natural world. Who knows what we’ll find! Instructor: Anna Luti, art therapist, Acera Counseling team $295

AM: Woodshop: Wooden Games (7-10)

Learn woodworking or improve your skills while making a Pucket slingshot hockey board! Students will use basic woodshop tools and learn how to plan and carry out their project. No prior woodworking experience required. Instructor: Marie Delaney, Acera Arts & Construction Coach $350

AM: Music and Storytelling with Sound in Scratch (7-10)

What are your favorite sounds? Leaves crunching, waves crashing, children giggling – each evokes a rich feeling of time and place. In this class, we will record and explore everyday sounds, rhythmic or not. Using Scratch-based computer programming, we will hone our skills in storyboarding, coding, and sound editing to create an interactive art project about our astonishing auditory world! No prior experience in Scratch is required. Bring your inventiveness and listening ears. Instructor: Chris Dale, Acera Creativity Morning and afterschool teacher $295

AM: Dance: Hip Hop & Choreography (7-10)

Do you love to express yourself through movement?  Are you passionate about Hip Hop and do you love creating your own routines? Join us for a week full of grooves & moves. We’ll start with basic steps and see where we want to take it from there: Locking, popping, funk, Electric Boogaloo, Old School, New Wave or Hip Pop — we’ll try it out! Hip Hop being the art of freestyling, this workshop is not about learning a specific technique, but about connecting with the music and movement inside of you. It’s perfect for movers and shakers! Instructor: Vanessa Roman, Acera Mindfulness, Theater and Dance Teacher. $295

AM: Design and Making Challenges (5-7)

Can you make a light saber out of paper, tape and some pins? How sturdy is it? How about constructing a telephone system with cups and strings? We bet you can do it! In this session, we will follow young kids’ natural desire to inquire, experiment, build and make while honing their problem-solving and design-thinking skills, providing new challenges, prompts and puzzles each day. In the process of getting creative, kids will learn about diverse subjects such as biology, structural engineering, math, ecology and electronics. We’re certain they’ll come up with design solutions we didn’t even anticipate! Instructor: Jenifer Demko, Acera Lower Elementary Teacher  $295

 

PM PROGRAMS (12 to 4 p.m.)

PM: Styles, Profiles, Power: Leadership Workshop (12-17)

We all know leadership is important — in sports, in school, in life. But how do you become an effective leader? How can you inspire and engage others to share your goals, from not giving up in a game to having a positive impact on your community to advocating for change? And what is leadership from within? This program is as much an experience as it is a workshop: Join us to discuss articles about the importance of EQ in today’s world, and study different approaches to leadership. Via role play and exercises, explore your own beliefs, strengths and weaknesses. Discover who you can become as a leader. (This program is for students going into grades 7 – 12.) Instructor: Vanessa Roman, Acera Mindfulness, Theater and Math teacher. $325

PM: Woodshop: Build a Longbow (11-15)

One of last summer’s woodshop hits: In this session, you will create and build your own wooden longbow! Since wood is not an engineered material and has inconsistencies, great care is taken in selecting high quality hardwood lumber as the raw material for the bow staves. After cutting your bow staves to rough shape with the band saw, you will spend much of your time shaping wood with traditional woodworking tools. You will then be able to gradually flex the bow through a process called tillering, and then you can string and test the bow. There is always the risk of the bow breaking, so students are encouraged to follow an ambitious schedule that allows time at the end for making another bow if necessary. All skill levels are welcome. Instructor: Josh Briggs, Acera Engineering Teacher and Woodshop Manager $350

PM: Advanced Physical Computing (10-15)

In addition to Scratch, this advanced class 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 and the like 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). Students will work in depth on 1-2 projects over the course of the week, and develop expertise in one or two of the physical computing technologies (MakeyMakey, WeDo 2.0, PicoBoard). Instructor: David Alsdorf, TUFTS Center for Engineering Education and Outreach teacher, researcher, curriculum developer and artist $325

PM: Music Video Workshop (8+)

Record an original song and film and edit your own music video in one week! In this session, students will select or compose and record a song, then script and film a video. They will edit and re-shoot as needed, and learn how to work with programs such as Garageband and iMovie to create a piece of musical art they will have forever! Instructor: Anthony Reynolds, Acera Art and Music Teacher $295

Here is an example from a previous summer video workshop:

PM: Woodshop: Make a Wooden Self Portrait (7-10)

How do you make a wooden self portrait? Can that even be done without years of carving experience? Why, yes, if you get to work with our woodshop magician and trained furniture maker Marie Delaney! in this workshop, she will show students a simplified version of marquetry, a traditional woordworking technique that requires using thin pieces of wooden veneer to make art. Instructor: Marie Delaney, Acera Arts & Construction Coach $325

PM: Experiential Art (7-10)

Painting, music, movement, collage, drama… why pick one? Let’s spend a week exploring new realms of art making. At the beginning of the week, prompts will open students to new ways of reflecting upon but more importantly, feeling the creative process. We all try to draw within the lines too much sometimes — this will be a week in which we take risks with our ideas, get messy, get bold, and push past your own boundaries. Instructor: Anna Luti, Art therapist, Acera counseling team $295

PM: Pop-up Play Pods (7-10) 

Cardboard is lightweight, low-cost, reusable and recyclable – how can we use these material properties to design unique shelters? In this workshop, you will learn how to work creatively around basic restrictions and constraints in designing and making mobile pop up play spaces. The design process investigates the roles of function, aesthetics, ergonomics, and fun in product design, and you get to take home your very own play pod! Instructor: Estee Hill, architect, educator and Acera cross classroom teacher $350

PM: SEEDS: Enchanted Electronics (7-10)

Explore the possibilities of electronic and computational do-it-yourself art! You can create a story from a drawing that lights up in ways you design. You can try a whole host of novel programmable materials (such as making a drum set out of fruit!) Just bring your ideas, and see how you can create things that seem unimaginable — until you’ve actually made them! This session will allow children to explore with Tangible Computational Media (TCM), a medium that enables kids to design and create physical objects with interactive and dynamic behaviors. With prompts and demos to inspire us, we’ll be crafting devices and experiences that delight us and empower us. Instructor: Chris Dale, Acera Creativity Morning and afterschool teacher $350

PM: cky, Sticky, Ewy, Gooey:Messy Science (5-7)

What can we learn from an animal’s scat (poop)? How far can germs travel when you sneeze? In this session, students will investigate aspects of our bodies and the natural world that are slimy, icky, and just plain gross! Students will experiment with materials of different textures and properties, observe natural processes with messy results, and create models to help them demonstrate their understanding. Join us for a fun way of learning about science & the world! Instructor: Jenifer Demko, Acera Lower Elementary teacher $350

 

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