Our campers had so much fun on tall of our Trip Days this summer. While out in Boston, our campers experienced our core value of curiosity or sakranut. While out with their workshop and the Museum of Science, our campers asked questions and engaged with the material around them. They got to experience first hand how what they learn workshop translates to the real world; they participated with excitement and were given an experience they will never forget.
Digital Film Production
For our first Trip Day, our Digital Film Production campers had the opportunity to tour Boston University’s Film and Television Department. Our tour included visiting a real working television studio, production booth, and radio station recording studio. While there, we also got to film a short video interviewing each other about our favorite films.
For our second Trip Day, our Digital Film Production campers had the opportunity to shoot a short film in the Boston Commons park. While at the Boston Commons, our campers got to experience the different jobs that might be seen on a movie set. Not only were our campers the actors, but they also performed the roles of director, director of photography, producer, location scout, and script supervisor.
For our third Trip Day, our Digital Film Production and our 3D Animation workshops teamed up and together brought their campers to the West Newton Cinema for a private viewing of the live-action Lion King movie. Our campers followed the film with a lively debate over whether or not the movie was live-action, or animated. Our campers talked about how some people could call this movie a hybrid between the two, as well as the filming elements that are present in the film that is commonly seen in live-action films but not animated films.
For all three Trip Days, our Biozone campers went on a tour of the Russell Museum of Medical History. Our journey was given by Dr. John Truman, a pediatric oncology physician of 59 years. Dr. Truman showed us artifacts that showed us the history of medicine, ranging from ancient medicinal practices to the modern methods we know of today. Our tour also included the U.S’s oldest psychiatric ward, the first operating room to use anesthetics as well as the first models of an ambulance.
Video Game Design
For our first Trip Day, our Video Game Design campers went to the MIT Game Lab, where we got to learn about the history of games and backing. While at the MIT Game Lab, our campers even got the chance to test a few of the puzzle video games that are still in development. It was so cool to see and experience what they work with.
Four our second and third Trip Day, our Video Game Design campers went to BostonFIG, a video game company based out of Boston. Our campers got the opportunity to visit with their CEO, Caroline Murphy, the CEO. Our campers played a few “live-action games” and discussed how they showed different elements of game design. Our campers also got the chance to make some games of our own in small groups and playtest each other’s games.
For our first Trip day, our Robotics campers got to visit SoftBank Robotics, who created humanoid solutions for companies all around the world. While at SoftBank Robotics, we got to meet Pepper and its friends, Nao and Tally. Pepper is a four-foot-tall assistant, Nao is a robot who helps teach coding to children, and Tally is a robot who helps supermarkets stocked and running smoothly. Our campers loved being able to experience interactions with actual robots who serve practical purposes in the real world.
For our second Trip Day, our Robotics campers got to visit Vecna Robotics, a company that designs robots meant to help humans who work in warehouse management. Our campers had the opportunity to see a connection to not only their workshop but also to our Sci-Tech values. At Vecna, all employees are required to do community service. Vecna feels a connection (kesher) to the world around them, and work to make sure they are leaving it better than how they found it. Our campers got to talk with the Vecna team and learned about how they overcome their challenges in designing and building robots. It inspired our campers to keep persisting in the construction of their robotics in their robotics workshop.
For our third Trip Day, our Robotic camper had the opportunity to visit Boston Conveyor and Automation, a company that makes high-tech conveyor belts and assembly systems. Our campers got to see a robot’s three-stage vision system in action; a system that can sense where everything in on the belt and can pick up, sort and assemble them at very high speeds. Our campers loved seeing the robot move at such speed, precision, and still be so gentle. Our campers also got to see behind the scenes of the food world on how food is packaged, and how their packaging is put together.
Programming and Coding
For our first Trip Day, our Programming and Coding campers got to visit FableVision. While there, our campers got a tour of the facilities and met one of the junior developers who showed our campers a few of the video games he helped create. It was great to meet a person who loved programming and coding as much as we do and to see what a person could accomplish within this realm.
For our second Trip Day, our Programming and Coding campers got to visit Jassby, an app for families which lets parents send allowance to their children through an app, and kids can easily spend their money on approved items. Our campers got to talk to the marketing team about the production of the app and how it works. Afterward, our campers had the chance to speak to some of the programmers on the app, who explained how they use Swift and Xcode to build Jassby, the same way we do in the workshop! It was great getting to see how much code they had, and learning some new things about Xcode!
For our third Trip Day, our Programming and Coding campers visited Bose’s Makerspace, a place that Bose employees can utilize to create prototypes of the projects they are working on. Our campers loved visiting Bose; it was the first company to introduce hi-fi to their products, creating a richer sound in their listening experience. Being that Bose continues to be on the cutting edge of sound technology, it was an excellent experience for our campers to learn about the process of making their products.
For our first Trip Day, our 3D Animation campers got to go to Black Math Studios where we were given a tour of the facilities which included a sound studio as well as the visual production sections. Our campers got to take part in an interactive presentation where we got to create dialogue for an animation Black Math Studios created beforehand. Two of our campers were picked to record the audio inside an actual audio booth!
Four our second Trip Day, our 3D Animation campers got to go to Brickyard VFX, a visual effects studio in Boston. Our campers were given an excellent tour of the facilities, and afterward, our campers got to see some popular commercials and how Animation was incorporated in them. The whole group had a great time and asked many great questions!
Earth and Sky
For our first Trip Day, our Earth and Sky campers got to go to Boston College’s Department of Earth and Environmental Science to see the Weston Observatory. This Observatory monitors the seismic activity of the greater Boston area. Our campers got to learn about earthquakes, including their significant causes, as well as how they affect the NorthEast region. Our campers even got to see the Observatory’s actual seismographs that are so sensitive that they can pick up the real-time traffic in Boston.
For our second Trip Day, our Earth and Sky campers got to go to Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA’s X-ray telescope. The Chandra Observatory orbits the Earth detecting X-ray emissions of suns, galaxies, and even black holes. Our campers learned about how the Chandra telescope was built and how it detects X-ray emissions, something our eyes cannot detect. Our campers got to tour the Observatory’s control room and saw the technology involved in keeping the telescope operational.
For our third Trip Day, our Earth and Sky campers got to go to the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Oceanic and National Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) office in Norton, MA. This government station collects weather data and provides forecasts to local and national weather outlets including Accuweather and the Weather Channel. Our campers learned about the role the NWS plays in keeping the public safe from severe weather. They also learned the difference between alerts and warnings as well as different kinds of weather events and how often they impact the Northeast. Our campers even got to tour the office where meteorologists monitor weather conditions and communicate to the public.
Science of Food
For our first Trip Day, our Science of Food campers got to visit The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. There we got to learn about the science behind baking pastries through a pastry demonstration. Our campers learned the importance of using the right acids, bases, and temperature in the chemistry of cooking as well as the importance of using all of our senses. Our camper even got to taste excellent eclairs.
For our second Trip Day, our Science of Food campers got to visit the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project at Moraine Farm. Our campers were given a tour of the farm and learned about a variety of crops and the importance of various minerals for proper soil composition. They were able to observe how essential water was in keeping kale fresh. Our campers also picked kohlrabi and were able to take some back to camp and cook it up in workshop! Overall, they enjoyed the tour and learned some valuable tips for proper farming and the scientific reasoning behind these tips.
Finally, for our first Trip Day, our Operation Impact campers went to LearnLaunch to learn about the company and technology’s place in the classroom. Our campers got to hear from the Director of Operations about LearnLaunch’s place as an incubator in the new industry of educational technology as well as hear from the founder of one of the companies Learn and Launch houses and how LearnLaunch helped her throughout the entire process.
For our second Trip Day, our Operation Impact campers visited BrainCo, a brain-machine learning startup that combines artificial intelligence and electroencephalogram (EEG) technology to measure brainwaves. Our campers were able to try an EEG headband that measured their levels of concentration, as well as a game that takes the EEG measurement to power a game where you could “win” by increasing your focus. Our campers also learned about the different uses for EGG technology like powering prosthetics, improving attention spans for those with ADD/ADHD, and cognitive training for older adults.
For our third Trip Day, our Operation Impact campers visited Lovin Spoonfuls, a nonprofit that rescues nutritious, healthy foods from grocery stores that would usually get discarded due to their appearance, low sales or for being too close to the suggested expiration date. Lovin Spoonfuls then redistributes this food to reach a portion of the 40 million Americans that struggle with food scarcity. Our campers loved learning about this organization and what they do to serve the greater community.
After spending the morning with our workshops, the entire Sci-Tech community reunited at the Museum of Science where we got to spend the afternoon walking around the museum and taking in science from a variety of different mediums including the life cycle of a chicken through watching them hatch from their eggs, the science behind physical activity through the playground of science, and of course the ins-and-outs of lighting through the lightning show. We are always amazed by our campers during our Trip Days. Every time we re-enter the outside world, it is a reminder of how lucky we are to have a community of kind and curious campers.