TECH Talks – 3rd Session 2014
By Robbie Berg, Assistant Director
Campers are dressed up, the hockey rink is decorated, the robots are out – it is once again time for TECH Talks! Saturday night’s festivities were our culminating celebration of all of our campers’ hard work this session. After dinner and an all-camp photo, we started with a classy reception, where campers could take photos at our Sci-Tech step-and-repeat and sign each other’s autograph books. Decorating the walls was a poster with dozens of hexagons, upon which counselors wrote about how amazing and unique each camper was. We also had work from the chugim (electives) on display – programs created in Java, our camp that was built in Minecraft, paper roller coasters, and digital music productions.
Next, campers took their seats for the main event, emceed by our Head Counselor Brett Lubarsky. First up was the Digital Media Production workshop, which showed off their feature film. The campers wrote the script, built the props, directed the scenes, edited the footage, and added special effects to create an stellar movie about a confused alien at camp. Lillian, the Digital Media instructor, presented each of her campers with their own Academy Award for their incredible creativity and dedication.
Next, campers from the Robotics workshop shared all that they had accomplished this session. Led by Devon, the Robotics instructor, the campers discussed their VEX robotics kits, the programming languages they used, and how much Savlanut (patience) it took to complete the Rube Goldberg machines. They also discussed how they created robots for Robot Soccer, and how they had to show Kavod (respect) for other teams by not making robots that destroy one another, but rather ones that complete the task of scoring points in the game.
Our Video Game Design campers, led by Kevin and Ben the ninjas, showcased their games in the demo reel. The games spanned a variety of styles and genres, from a side-scrolling Noah’s Ark game to a top-down dream world simulation and a point-and-click crime scene investigation. The campers created videos and stills of their games in action for the show, but also brought the games so other campers could test them out!
Lastly, our Environmental Science workshop, led by Kate, shared a fraction of what they learned in their workshop. Through a hilarious and informative public service announcement video, the campers talked about rocks, sharks, and sustainability. In their workshop, they discussed food preservation and thus created jam and pickles for the rest of the campers to try. Lastly, they presented their Brit Ha’Teva (or Environmental Agreement) for camp to sign.
After each of the presentations, campers had the ability to check out the creations of their friends. They drove the soccer-playing robots, played the brand new video games, and tasted the homemade pickles and jam – there was a tie between strawberry and blueberry as the favorite flavor. After two weeks of patience, perspiration, and passion, celebrating with TECH Talks was a perfect conclusion to an incredible pioneer summer.