As our first session of Summer 2018 comes to a close, we celebrate all the hard work our campers have done with our legendary TechTalks! Its amazing how much our campers were able to accomplish and create in only 12 short days! Kol HaKavod L’olam!
We started our talks in the PAC (performing arts center) and listened to our lead instructors describe all of the stellar things that our campers had been up to. It was also the world premier of all of the films and edits produced in the Digital Film Production workshop and a recap of the pitches given yesterday at Start Up Nation. After the film screenings, we had a delicious dinner of grilled salmon with orzo rice pilaf (and hotdogs and hamburgers for those picky eaters!). We then all gathered into the hockey rink to test out video games, robots, and programs that the campers had made. Meanwhile our biozone workshop checked everyone’s vitals, the chemistry folks were showing some of their favorite experiments, 3D animation shared their animations, and Earth and Sky taught us all about the water that can be found at camp! It was a SciTech extravaganza! Here is a glimpse at what each workshop achieved this session!
3D animation learned all about animation pipelines including multiple more advanced rigs and modeling techniques. Lower camp learned how to do ball bounce and even got to work on animating BB8 from the new Star Wars films! Meanwhile upper camp got to work with hard surface modeling and character rigs. One brave camper even recreated Iron Man! We can’t wait to see what they RIG up next!
BioZone started out the session with a moving white coat ceremony where each camper got their lab coat and recited the Hippocratic Oath. They then jumped right in, learning all about how to take vitals and patient centered care. With the basics down, they got to learn about the brain and even got to dissect a few! By week 2, they had moved on to the liver and had a great discussion on the medical ethics of transplants and providing medical care to those in need. BioZone ended out the session talking about the science of transmittable diseases. Their energy and enthusiasm were CONTAGIOUS!
Chemistry had a blast during Session 1! They studied all about different chemical and physical changes including combustion, single replacement, and acid-base chemical reactions. All of that and they didn’t even set off the fire alarm! Huge shout out to all our campers and Dr Gian for teaching an excellent lab safety primer on day one. Chemistry rounded out the session with crystal growing and the science of equilibrium. Everyone really was in their ELEMENT!
Digital Film Production
DFP had a stellar session with 8 different productions happening simultaneously: 7 short films and tech track who learned all about insider techniques to making great digital content! This session was especially great at script writing. Everyone had solid ideas and wanted to make films that incorporated our SciTech values to tell a story and bring some tikkun olam. This sessions films included:
- a reality show parody of alien robots that taught us that we all have flaws and are perfect in our imperfection
- a moving tale of a new kid at camp and the power of making new friends
- a story about a group of kids surviving in the wilderness and learning all about teamwork and sticking together
- an Avant Garde film exploring the realms of consciousness
- a riveting story about a cat that acquires superpowers and how we all have the potential to be superheroes
- a documentary about our new Director of Jewish Life, Ryan, and how special SciTech is for developing a sense of community infused with Jewish meaning making
- a suspense filled action movie all about a group of campers trying to get second desserts with the message that savlanut (patience) often wins out in the end
DFP sure knew how to FRAME our camp values and bring them to ACTION! Here’s a link to all their videos!
Earth and Sky
This year’s Earth and Sky theme is water. This session campers learned all about the water cycle and how different forces, environmental factors, and human activity affect the water on Earth. Folks in this workshop got to test water from all around camp including many local bodies of water that surround our campus. When they weren’t testing water in the marsh or in the chadar ochel (don’t worry! Campers learned that all our water is safe to drink!), Earth and Sky went on an awesome whale watch and even got to see a Mom and her calf! This workshop sure is making WAVES this summer!
Programming and Coding
This session of Programming and Coding learned the basics of java syntax and jumped right into the exciting world of arrays and loops! They focused on using logic and problem solving to learn good developer skills that will help them all throughout their P&C careers. Each camper then developed their own projects such as games, animations, and apps. There were takes on the classics like pong, frogger, and PacMan, as well as some creative new concepts like an acrostic poem generator! Say HELLO WORLD to this outstanding group of budding developers!
Robotics had an eventful session! After learning some robotics basics, campers competed in challenges to test out their new skills. Some of the challenges included building a replica of the Tabernacle, robot basketball, and robot soccer. The 10 graders designed a rube Goldberg machine called The Pyrotechnic Cupcake which was a complex machine that eventually lit a cupcake on fire in honor of SciTech’s 5th birthday!
These campers are the NUTS AND BOLTS of SciTech!
Start Up Nation
This session was our inaugural session for our brand-new workshop Start Up Nation and boy did it deliver! Campers in this workshop were able to take some of the projects and ideas that they came up with in previous years and learn how to develop them into a marketable product.
They learned about the process of ideation and designed thinking, business program marketing, website design, how to pitch an idea, and the art of storytelling.
Friday was pitch day and our panel of judges was impressed not only by the variety of products, but also the thought and care that went into marketing and business planning for the future!
Here are the products our campers launched:
- an app dedicated to matching gamers within the same level of skills and gaming.
- a customizable, 3D printed case for board games’ pieces.
- an app which builds time precise playlists, according to the time defined.
- an app capable of identifying music that is playing and translates that into easy-to-learn sheet music. The app also lets users write and reco
rd their own songs.
- an app similar to Snapchat and Instagram that locates the friends that are near you. It allows a person to see the events going on around them, focusing on real-time inter
- a 3D printed case for percussion mallets.
It’s exciting to see these kids taking care of BUSINESS!
Video Game Design
Last but certainly not least, we had Video Game Design! Campers learned how to design video games from the ground up. Using 5 different tools they game up with their own concepts and produced some awesome games! This sessions cohort created racing games, dungeon exploration games, and even a tycoon resource game. Everyone at camp had a great time testing them out in the hockey rink!
After TechTalks, we watched our end of session slideshow and each hall made a circle in the hockey rink for some closing reflection and Havdalah. A camper from each hall shared about their SciTech experience to the whole camp in the midst of a soothing song session full of meditative ruach. We ended our night with the sensory experience of Havdalah and cupcakes to celebrate our 5th summer of SciTech! What a wonderful night! We can’t wait to see all of y’all next summer!