Designing for Eastie Farm: A Real-World Urban Farming Challenge (10-15)
Imagine for a moment you are running an urban farming consulting firm. A community farm in Boston calls on you to help with appropriate placement, building and design of new growing spaces. You’ll go to interview community members about their wishes and needs, assess the site, and join a team of colleagues in building the growing spaces. Now — stop pretending, and join us for this real-world urban farming challenge! You will learn about how permaculture integrates land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the closed loop, zero waste systems seen in diverse natural systems. And you’ll be able to apply permaculture systems-thinking and plan aspects of a new urban farm site in East Boston alongside Eastie Farm co-founder and educator, Alexis Daniels $650
AM PROGRAMS (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
AM: The Hunger Games, The Giver, 1984: Dystopia in Fiction & Film (12-17, Young Investigator Series)
All of these books are about dystopias–worlds like ours where an effort at a perfect society suddenly went horribly wrong. Though these stories have been around for decades, they seem to have suddenly popped up in young adult fiction. Join us as we explore the fascination they hold for us and consider questions about what they say about our current moment in time. 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.
AM: Drawing & Sculpting in 3D and VR (10-14)
Imagine you can draw not just on the piece of paper in front of you, but all around you. You can paint a house, and then make it bigger and walk inside to draw a living room, a kitchen, the family dog. It’s called 3D drawing, and made possible by VR technology. Join us during vacation week to try it out: Learn about how Virtual Reality works, and how you can use it to draw and create art in entirely new ways. No prior experience required. Instructor: Kathleen Leeper, Educator with Degree in Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, Science and Technology Studies from Hampshire College, and two years experience in Harvard Synthetic Biology Lab $395 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
AM: Comedy: Skits, Stand-up & More (8+)
Do you like comedy and parodies, and cracking your own jokes? Do you like stand-up comedians, skits and funny shows? In this program, join a group of friends and get funny. We’ll learn the art of stand-up comedy and skit creation, and find out what makes a joke work. We’ll use improv and other techniques to get into the moment, and we’ll study great examples in comedy to copy a trick or two. We’ll explore the role of the audience, and how to best use your personality and talent. Parents will be invited to a show on the last day! Instructor: Vanessa Roman, Acera Mindfulness, Theater and Health teacher $295
AM: SEEDS: DIY Robotic Toys (8+)
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. Last summer, one student made a remote-controlled, propeller-driven rolling brown mouse with blinking eyes (it followed its maker around.) Let’s see what you will make! Instructor: Kristen Nichols, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Graphic Designer & Curriculum Creator $350 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
AM: Chess Camp (7+)
A 2017 summer favorite: This is a fun camp for emerging and intermediate chess players. Learn strategies and habits of mind that apply to chess and beyond. Work with teams to solve chess puzzles. Participate in a low pressure class tournament, all designed to stoke a love for the game. Instructor: Acera Staff $295 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
AM: Biology through Play: Systems of the Human Body (7-9)
How do our body parts work together? What is the immune system? How do our heart and lungs work together to help us stay alive? In this session, students will explore different systems of the body, including the skeletal, muscular, sensory, and immune systems, through games and exploration and will practice diagnosing and “treating” common ailments. Instructor: Anna Luti, Acera Counseling team $295 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
AM: Woodworking Jr. (6-8)
You want to hammer and saw, and build things, but there isn’t a safe place to do it? Join us in Acera’s woodshop for an introduction to basic woodworking for younger students. Learn how to use hand tools by building toy airplanes, pencil boxes, and a tool tote! 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: Icky, 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 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: Intro to Programming in VR (12-17)
Are you interested in Virtual Reality, the technology and the principles behind it, such as optics, displays, tracking and major hardware platforms? Would you like to learn how to program a VR application? In this one-week class, students will learn how to design a virtual room and create a game in it. Next to learning about Virtual Reality and Programming for VR, students will be challenged to collaborate, investigate and create in teams, similar to how app developers work in the real world. Prior programming experience not required but a plus. Instructor: Kathleen Leeper, Educator with Degree in Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, Science and Technology Studies from Hampshire College, and two years experience in Harvard Synthetic Biology Lab $425
PM: Marshmallow Crossbows (11-15)
Are you ready for a construction challenge? Build a crossbow-style marshmallow shooter, and see if you can shoot the farthest at the end of the week! In this session, we’ll not just learn some important construction skills. In teams, we will also use design thinking methods to create, and prototyping to test and refine our ideas for the best shooting mechanisms. Parents, join us on the last day for a fun contest in the school playground! 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.
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 and 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 cross classroom teacher $295
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! Macbook required/ rentals available
For a taste of the workshop, watch this great original song & video created by Acera Summer students. Instructor: Acera Staff
PM: Yoga, Mindfulness & Nature Explorations (7+)
Have you ever tried to build a sculpture out of rocks by balancing them in gravity defying angles? Have you explored your sense of rhythm, structure, repetition and art through nature mandalas? Join us for a very special week of explorations with our bodies and our minds, inside our school and outside in nature. We will be sculpting, moving, stretching, noticing, questioning, and transforming, connecting with ourselves and the world around us, using both our intuition and our critical thinking skills. Instructor: Vanessa Roman, Acera Mindfulness, Theater and Dance Teacher $295
PM: Aliens in Space: Exobiology and the Future of Life (8-12)
If we were to discover aliens, would they look like the green men we see in movies, or would they be too small to see? Why could living things exist on some planets, but not others? We’ll learn about amazing creatures on Earth, and see what they teach us about life on other planets. Throughout, we’ll consider: what do we mean when we call something “alien”? Instructor: Rachel Kramer, Tufts Center for Engineering Education Outreach, Applied Mathematics & Engineering Teacher $325
PM: Fantastical Creations & Stop Motion Animation (7-10)
When painting and set design meet: Build a canvas frame the way you want it and then create an imaginary multidimensional scene on it! Paint a dungeon, a fairy land, a dragon habitat, a race track – anything you envision – and then build it out and turn it into a lively three-dimensional piece using found and natural materials (you can bring your own objects, too.) Then start creating a stop motion animation in your new set! Instructor: Mark Lyman, Acera Creativity Morning and Afterschool Coach $295
PM: SEEDS: Start Making (7-10)
Calling all creators! Make interactive musical instruments using Scratch and Makey Makey kits. Paint with light. Sculpt a character in a 3D design program, then 3D print it. Create a simple robot that makes its own art. Design a wearable computing project. Then use any of these skills you just learned and bring them together in a creation entirely your own! This session introduces the basics of circuitry, coding, crafting, 3D printing and engineering – based on Alisha’s latest book, Start Making! Instructor: Anna Luti, Acera Counseling team $325 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.
PM: Design & 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 This program is now FULL. Choose this class on the registration form if you would like to be waitlisted.