At 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy, our staff use professionally-developed curricula and lesson plans to guide campers in bringing to life the dreams that capture their imaginations. Using a hands-on, project-based approach, campers learn and create in a collaborative environment. Campers choose one primary track, or “workshop,” where they spend 2½ hours each day working on projects they design. Sci-Tech is open to campers entering grades 5-10. 

In the Robotics Workshop, our campers become engineers, bringing their ideas to life through hands-on building and computer programming. Learning from experienced instructors, campers use a wide variety of tools to explore the mechanics of robots and the programming necessary to make them work. Campers are divided by grades and/or skill level into groups to create an age-appropriate program that is both intellectually stimulating and challenging!

Beginning campers will learn the basics of robot construction and programming. Working with gears, sensors, and motors, they teach their robots to accomplish a series of smaller challenges. Once they’ve mastered moving, turning, and sensing colors and distance, the campers collaborate to work on larger projects. Examples include Robot Soccer, Robot Tic-Tac-Toe, or a Rube Goldberg machine – a whimsical device using their robots to complete a basic task in the most convoluted way possible.

Campers attending for multiple years in robotics or more experienced campers have an opportunity to develop their learning further, where they will use similar tools with more complex modeling and programming with new projects and challenges. As campers move beyond the basic functions of robotics, they will begin to learn more about gear ratios, as well as more in-depth programming that combines visual programming with coding in Robot C, a common programming language used for Robotics programming. With a greater understanding of robot mechanics, campers can customize their electrical circuitry and designs to create even more intricate robots.

Our program uses the VEX Robotics platform, a popular and advanced platform for robotics competitions.

Video games are the entertainment medium of the 21st century, with a global audience of almost 3 billion, made up of a wide variety of ages and genders, and an industry revenue that surpasses even Hollywood’s! But video games are more than just entertaining! They also help players hone problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and creative thinking through interactive storytelling and complex virtual worlds. Living at the intersection of technology and art, video game design is one of the most exciting, expanding, and far-reaching skills to learn in the modern age.

Our Video Game Design Workshop teaches the craft of game design, giving the skills you need to creatively bring your story or adventure to life. This design workshop begins with an examination of the fundamental elements of game design before diving into prototyping, playtesting, and redesigning games with activities that teach essential design skills. In small teams that simulate the collaborative spirit of the video game industry, campers will design their very own games using a variety of programming tools. Our professional instructors carefully place campers in pairs or trios with similar goals, interests, and skill levels to ensure that campers learn in the best possible environment. Campers will also think about how games reflect the values of the game developers who made them, and how Sci-Tech values come into play when we seriously consider the meaning of our games.

There are a wide array of tools to work with, so even returning campers or experienced developers will be challenged to discover and grow here at camp. Tools and platforms used in past workshops include: Scratch (perfect for beginners), Stencyl (great for 2D platformers and top-down games), Kodu (for campers interested in 3D game design), GameBlox (good for learning/practicing object-oriented programming), TaleBlazer (to make location-based augmented-reality games like Pokémon Go), and Unity3D (a professional-grade advanced game engine). In addition to design and production skills, campers will also learn the entrepreneurial art of pitching a game idea. Being able to describe a game idea quickly, clearly, and in a way that gets an audience interested and excited about your game is a crucial part of game development. It’s also a lot of fun, and a great way to work on your communication skills while getting valuable feedback to help guide your next great game idea! Working together, all campers will develop the story, game mechanics, characters, backgrounds and other elements of their video games. After the session, campers will be able to access their games from home to play and continue development work if desired.

Join us this summer and use your passion for play to create the games you’ve always wanted to see in the world!

Ever since the Big Bang, the Universe has been changing. The birth and death of stars results in galaxies, planets, and even living organisms! For instance, did you know that almost all the hydrogen on our planet comes from the Big Bang? That means the hydrogen part of the H2O in our bodies is 13.8 billion years old! We are literally made of stardust, and the after-effects of the cosmically cool Big Bang can be seen all around us.

This summer Earth & Sky campers will tackle the story of Planet Earth, where they will learn about the very beginning, back when planet Earth was first formed and how it is related to the Big Bang, all the way to present day. How did the Earth transform from a violent, molten rock to a vibrant supporter of life? How has Earth's drifting surface, which causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, affected our present-day reality? Why are birds the only dinosaurs still around these days? How is human life-changing or affecting how the Earth is changing, and what’s our responsibility to the planet as we spin towards the future?

Answering questions like these through science experiments and rigorous investigations are important not just for knowing where we’ve been, but for knowing where we’re going. Even today the Earth undergoes constant change. Environments and climates change and species go extinct or evolve into something new. This relentless change speeds along at a snail’s pace, yet causes mountains to rise, volcanoes to erupt, ecosystems to form, and earthquakes to strike.

This workshop is perfect for campers who are new to camp and as a great continuation for those who have experienced our Earth and Sky program in previous summers. Come and enjoy Earth & Sky this summer and discover what makes living our lives on Earth so special!

In the Digital Film Production workshop, campers take ownership of the entire movie creation process. From character development and scriptwriting to directing, shooting, and editing, campers will have the opportunity to engage in all aspects of film production and creatively explore a whole new world of storytelling. Younger campers and those new to film production form production teams and write, film, and edit their production together with our professional-level equipment and specialist instructors.

More experienced campers in our upper camp will have the opportunity to develop more advanced skills and camera techniques, focusing more on technical skills and the editing process. Campers have the option to create a portfolio of work while learning skills in areas such as cinematography, green-screening, sound FX, lighting, using filters, color grading, motion graphics, and more. These campers will leave with a video-folio of techniques learned throughout the session.

Digital Film Production provides a unique combination of technology and art. Our campers learn to effectively use technology – from our video cameras and microphones to diverse computer software options – to realize their artistic visions. Our instructors work with campers to set up scenes, create their sight lines, adjust for lighting, and film multiple angles.

Once the footage is filmed, campers use professional tools in the Adobe professional suite to get hands-on experience in editing and special effects, music scoring, and sound effects. Through the project-based creation process, campers grow their skill set and explore the fascinating world of digital film production.

Discover how a pinch of curiosity and a dash of science are the key ingredients in our fun new food science workshop! There are so many different types of learning all rolled into this one-of-a-kind Sci-Tech experience! Food science is the applied science devoted to the study of food that draws from biology, chemistry, nutrition, engineering, and biochemistry, just to name a few!

In this workshop, you will learn about the chemical building blocks of food, such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and water, and the reactions they undergo during processing, cooking, and storage. There are so many things to discover when it comes to food! Why is Himalayan salt pink? When you put things in the freezer, what happens to the molecules in different kinds of food? What makes bread rise in the oven? How is rock candy made? And these questions are just the appetizers!

Of course, no Sci-Tech meal is complete without a healthy portion of tikkun olam! As our burgeoning food scientists at Sci-Tech study the physical, microbiological, and chemical makeup of food to learn how to create safe, nutritious, and delicious meals, they’ll also learn about the ethics of food. What is hunger? Why do some people have access to nutritious food while others don’t? Where does the Reform Jewish community stand on GMOs? Food is a central part of Judaism and learning more about the scientific and ethical aspects of your food is sure to expand your Jewish knowledge (and your stomach!).

Come join us in 2019 and dig into the smorgasbord of science behind the food we eat every day!

If you have concerns about food allergies, please contact the office before registering for this workshop.

Computer programming code is part of our everyday lives. In our Programming and Coding workshop, you’ll not only learn the most sought-after skill in the 21st century, you’ll also have fun in an environment that’s all about curiosity, playfulness, and logic. In our Programming and Coding workshop, campers at all levels will be able to learn, grow, and develop their coding skills in a hands-on, project-based environment with expert instructors.

This summer we will be learning the Swift programming language to practice computer logic and develop iOS (Apple) applications. There’s never been a better time to learn Apple’s new programming language. Since its launch in 2014, Swift has become one of the most popular programming languages in the world, ranking 12th on the TIOBE Index, and has already supplanted Apple’s original development language, Objective-C!

Swift is designed with education and fun in mind. The engineers over at Apple designed Swift to be powerful enough for professional developers and expert campers, while still being easy for a novice to pick up! This makes it perfect for our multi-skill level workshop environment at Sci-Tech, where we design workshops with both returning and new campers in mind. Campers with little experience in programming will learn the ins and outs of different software to think like a programmer, and by the end of the session, they’ll have a working app they can share with friends and family. More advanced campers can build on their previous knowledge to develop increasingly more complex programs, and with the switch to Swift, campers returning to Programming and Coding will have the opportunity to learn a brand new development environment!

Whether you love the challenge of programming logic puzzles, or enjoy the thrill of creating apps that can improve the world, the Programming and Coding workshop is the right place for you this summer!

Dive into 3D art creation with Autodesk Maya, the 3D modeling and animation software package used by the pros. In this Sci-Tech workshop, we turn imagination into reality, encouraging campers to share their vision and inspire others. With animation, almost anything is possible! Many of today’s films, television shows, and video games are computer animated. Even live-action movies use computer-generated imagery (CGI) to enhance their story-telling!

In the 3D Animation workshop, campers will learn the principles of animation and will choose from different disciplines in our animation pipeline, including some of the most popular areas of animation: character animation and modeling objects. Campers will discover how timing, action, and anticipation can add to your animation and how animators use these skills to create emotion and tell a story. By the end of the session, campers will have created a short visual project they can show off to their friends and family (before adding it to their professional animation portfolio)!

More experienced campers, or ones who have taken the 3D Animation Workshop in previous summers, will have the opportunity to build on their knowledge of animation and modeling, as well as learn more in-depth and technical skills. Animators are always looking for ways to improve, and no animation is ever truly done! There are always ways to make it better.

3D Animation allows you to bend reality, and at Sci-Tech, only your imagination is the limit!

For entering 9th and 10th graders only.

Expand your problem-solving toolkit with imagination and empathy this summer in Operation Impact. This summer learn how STEM is a gateway to repairing the world. Use your skills in science, technology, and engineering to be a social entrepreneur, someone who creates innovative solutions, products, and businesses to solve our most pressing challenges. Follow in the footsteps of others who have done it- Jeffrey Hollender from Seventh Generation, Ziv Aviram from OrCam, Mitchel Resnick from Scratch, and Reshma Saujani from Girls Who Code, just to name a few!

In this special 9th & 10th grade only workshop, teens will choose a real-world topic they are passionate about, use the knowledge they’ve learned from their past experiences, and address major challenges through creativity and STEM.

During the session, campers will be divided up into small groups to brainstorm and create a new social venture. Each group is challenged to pick a local or global challenge and come up with a solution that could change the world. Components of this workshop include research, invention, problem-solving, and using the knowledge that campers may already have including coding, web design, engineering, media and film, or scientific research.

This workshop is a great sequel for teens who were in the Start-Up Nation workshop last summer, and also great for those looking for a new and advanced Sci-Tech experience.

Come and join us in Operation Impact, become a change-maker and prove that what happens at Sci-Tech can change the world!

In this workshop, teens must be prepared and willing to work in groups with one another. Additionally, the Operation Impact workshop will meet during each day’s 2.5 hour workshop block as well as during an additional period during the day.

From the common cold to life-threatening illnesses, doctors are charged with solving the mysteries of the human body. When you go to the doctor, do you wonder what they are looking for when they listen to your lungs and your heart, examine your ears and look at your throat? What exactly is your physician thinking and what will they discover when they order a test, and how does that test work? What story will it tell?

Campers will use critical thinking skills in order to understand the mechanisms and the signs and symptoms of common (and some not so common) medical problems, as well as the critical tools and technology that are used to make a correct diagnosis.

Using both basic and advanced principles and practices of medicine, campers will explore different body systems and anatomy relevant to real medical scenarios, and understand how diseases work, how the body responds to illness, as well as ways in which eating/exercise habits may affect our health. Campers will be presented with patient cases that will lead them to discover the human body using modern technology and real-life samples.

Each summer, this workshop explores new ailments and symptoms and introduces campers to different medical studies, so even those campers who were in this workshop in previous years will have a great time being doctors once again. They will look at the body through many lenses – sometimes literally! With probing questions to obtain a medical history, a physical exam and tools like stethoscopes, electrocardiograms, sphygmomanometers, imaging, laboratory results, ultrasound, microscopes and more, campers will be able to diagnose and solve medical mysteries just like our doctors do every day.

Workshops are taught by our lead instructors, who are professional educators (such as science teachers) who bring both a passion for the subject and experience working with children. They are supported by college-age counselors majoring in fields of science and technology and actively engaged in learning and research.

Campers also choose two chugim (pronounced hoo-GEEM, meaning electives) each week. This provides campers with the opportunity to explore new areas of interest. Our chugim are taught by the counselors and the lead instructors, who work with our directors to bring their passions to the campers. Examples of past chugim include:

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • 3D Design & Printing
  • Rubik’s Cube Solving
  • Flight and RC Airplanes
  • Magic
  • Java Programming
  • Python Programming
  • Medical Biology
  • Cryptology
  • LARPing
  • Rocketry
  • Ukulele
  • Food Science
  • Virtual Worlds (using Minecraft)
  • Arduino Programming
  • Digital Music / Recording Studio

Chugim are selected by our campers once they arrive at camp. Chugim change from summer to summer and even from week to week. Allowing campers to choose these chugim gives them the freedom to explore interests they may not have even thought about before camp and allows our campers to select activities with others who share the same interests.

During our sports and athletics period, campers exercise their bodies, something just as important as exercising their minds. On one of our many fields or courts, campers can play tennis, soccer, Frisbee, kickball, capture the flag, and Gaga. Other options include Quidditch, nature hikes, dance, and Zumba.

Check out a sample daily schedule