TECH Talks: Session 2
by Amelia Lavranchuk, Program and Media Coordintator
As the sun began to set on our second Shabbat of Session 2, we gathered together in the Performing Arts Center to celebrate another amazing session with our second edition of TECH Talks for Summer 2016. TECH Talks give our campers the opportunity to present the work they have been doing all session long in their workshops, and check out what their friends have learned and created.
Our opening to TECH Talks in the PAC included a presentation from the mishlachat, our delegation of Israeli counselors, and a presentation from each lead instructor about their workshop. After a delicious dinner, we resumed TECH Talks presentations in the hockey rink with science-fair style exhibits from each workshop. This session, campers in the SWIFT chug also presented the applications they created, including an app to keep track of lives in Magic: The Gathering, and one that plays rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock. The evening was accompanied by live music from campers in our Rock Band chug. We concluded with a Session 2 slideshow, and a havdalah service where campers from each hall shared their thoughts on the session. As campers left the hockey rink, many were already talking about coming back to camp next summer.
Read more about each workshop and see some samples of their work below:
Digital Film Production
In the PAC, all of camp was treated to the premiers of the movies created in the Digital Film Production workshop on the big screen. Each film was created completely–from script to final edits–by campers. This session, campers in the lower camp workshop created four different movies: The Limited’s, a film about the adventures of some not-so-super superheroes, Airbanders, the making of a pretty terrible band, Let’s Stalk Leo, a documentary about a day in the life of Sci-Tech’s songleader, and The Avonjews, about some more adventures of some more not-so-super superheroes. Upper camp was divided into two tracks–two groups created films, while the third group honed their movie-making skills in a technical workshop. The upper camp films were Chase, a silent movie about an athlete who regains his confidence after an injury, Dehydrated, about the dangers of camp’s most common ailments, and Trivial, a music video.
Video Game Design
Super Mario tapped in for Danny once again to co-present the video game design workshop with assistant lead instructor Becca. Using the game design tools Scratch, Stencyl, Gameblox, Kodu and Unity, campers worked in teams to create their own playable video games. Campers got to see a trailer showing off each of the games in the PAC, and then got a chance to try the games out at the video game arcade in the hockey rink.
Earth and Sky
Campers in Earth and Sky created a giant model of the tectonic plates using butcher paper and string, and learned what causes earthquakes. Campers also excavated and identified fossilized fish, using very precise tools and paleontology techniques. Both the model and the excavated fossils were on display at the TECH Talks science fair in the hockey rink.
Visitors to the Forensics boot in the hockey rink got to try their hand at finding clue and discovering the perpetrator in a miniature crime scene. They also got to compare fingerprints taken at the scene to the fingerprints of workshop participants, and were challenged to match their handwriting to the disguised handwriting on various ransom notes. Finally, the workshop participants created an informative display on all of the various techniques they had learned throughout the session, including blood spatter analysis, bomb scene reconstruction, and ink analysis.
Web and Graphic Design
Campers in the Web and Graphic Design Workshop each designed and coded their very own website completely from scratch! Not only did they learn the basics of html and css coding, but also how to make their websites visually appealing with the fundamentals of graphic design. All the websites were on display in the hockey rink, and visitors had the chance to explore each one. Topics of the sites included video game music, examples of badly designed website, and Arduino creation.
Participants in the Robotics workshop were split into two groups. Campers in 5th, 6th, and 10th grade used their knowledge of Robotics to create a Rube Goldberg Machine, a machine that is overly, irrationally, absurdly complicated that does an everyday task. It takes a lot of savlanut (patience) to create a successful Rube Goldberg Machine, as getting it to work can sometimes take over 100 attempts! While the complex builds cannot be transported, campers got to view a video of each group’s successful trials on the big screen in the PAC. Campers in 7th and 9th grade designed robots which competed in FIRST-style challenges. Visitors to the Robotics booth in the hockey rink had a chance to test-drive the participants’ creations!
At the BioZone booth in the hockey rink, campers got to read a secret message created by injecting bacteria with the genes that make jellyfish luminescent. The message could only be revealed by viewing it under black light. In addition, participants in BioZone observed insect behavior and learned about the human heart, and created posters displaying their data and conclusions. Finally, visitors got to view a sheep heart dissected and labeled by the workshop participants.
Programming and Coding
Campers in Programming and Coding learned how to use different coding languages to create their own apps for android phones. Visitors to the Programming and Coding booth were able to try out the apps, which included an app that created a choose-you-own-adventure story and an app that converted language to binary code, among many other creative and innovative designs. Who knows, we may be seeing these in an app store soon!
Check out these photo highlights of the evening!