There's no place quite like Sci-Tech! At 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy, our staff members create and use incredible curricula, created in partnership with education experts, to guide campers in bringing to life the questions 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 a total of 2½ hours throughout each day, in addition to exploring the world through our amazing counselor-led chugim (electives) and outdoor recreational periods like Sababa and Kinesthetic Sciences.

Workshops are taught by our lead instructors, who are professionals in their field and/or 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. These amazing counselors also develop and lead our incredible chugim (electives)!

Sci-Tech is open to campers entering grades 5-10, with a special rising 11th-grade unit offered during 3rd session only and a full-summer Machon Teen Leadership program for rising 12th graders.

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! 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 you the skills needed to creatively bring your story or adventure to life. Our workshop begins with campers digging deep into the principles of game design through the creation of an on-paper game concept within small teams. Then they bring that vision to life, simulating the collaborative spirit of the video game design industry, with a variety of different game design tools and software. Working together, all campers will develop the story, game mechanics, characters, backgrounds, and other elements of their video games.

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 is a wide array of tools to work with, so even returning campers or experienced developers will be challenged to discover and grow their skillsets. While the software we use changes each year, tools and platforms used in past workshops have included: 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).

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

Whether you love the challenge of programming logic puzzles or enjoy the thrill of creating software that can improve the world, the Programming and Coding workshop is the right place for you this summer! In our Programming and Coding workshop, you’ll not only learn the most sought-after skill in the 21st century, but you’ll also have fun in an environment that’s all about curiosity, playfulness, and logic.

This summer we will be learning the Python programming language! Everyone is talking about Python and for good reason. With an exponentially growing community around data science, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, web development, and more, Python is a language that opens programming access to the world. In the realm of server-side software languages, Python is considered easy to read, write, and learn. Plus, it’s extremely scalable. The world’s largest companies run on it, like Netflix, Instagram, and Spotify. It’s also great for the quick prototypes our campers will be making at camp!

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 prototype they can share with friends and family. More advanced campers can build on their existing knowledge to develop increasingly more complex programs.

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 sightlines, 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 skillset 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 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!

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 and hunger. 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 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.

Did you know that it’s easier to send a person up into space than it is to send them down to the bottom of the ocean? Water covers more than 70 percent of the planet's surface, driving weather, regulating temperature, and ultimately supporting all living organisms. Yet for all our reliance on the ocean, more than eighty percent of this vast, underwater realm remains unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored!

Much remains to be learned from exploring the mysteries of the deep. Mapping and describing the physical, biological, geological, chemical, and archaeological aspects of large bodies of water like the ocean is a huge undertaking! To understand the dynamics of marine ecosystems we must develop and apply new technologies. There’s a lot of questions left to ask in the field of marine science!

Located near a thriving marsh ecosystem, Byfield offers a unique setting for a hands-on marine adventure. While we won’t be diving into the marsh (you’ll learn why we don’t swim in the marsh as part of this workshop!), campers will still do a deep dive into some of the planet’s most mysterious ecosystems in our newest science expedition!

Ready to try your hand at real-world code-breaking? Based on the incredible popularity of our Cryptography and Puzzles & Escape Rooms Intensives during the Summer 2020 Virtual Academy, we’re adding a brand-new Cryptology workshop! Think like a secret agent and crack ciphers and discover secrets, all while improving your math and analytic skills in this brand-new workshop!

Secret writing has been employed for about as long as writing has existed. Ciphers, or coded text, have been used throughout history whenever people wanted to keep messages private. You might know of some famous examples, like the Enigma Machine during World War II! Cryptology continues to be used by governments, military, businesses, and organizations to protect their messages. Today, encryption is used in cyber security to protect the storage of data and transactions between computers. If you’ve ever used a password on your computer, that means you’ve experienced the benefits of 21st-century cryptology!

During this workshop, campers will cooperatively discover clues and solve puzzles while learning new skills to help them progress through a story. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) will include learning about ciphers, ancient cryptology, modern cryptology, and the mathematical theory behind cryptoanalysis so you can crack codes and create your own.

Once upon a time, Sci-Tech had a chug (elective) called LARP (Live-Action Role-Play). This chug was so popular that the powers that be decreed it would be its own workshop. Now campers will have the opportunity to participate in a Workshop story of epic proportions. Using their imagination, problem-solving, and storytelling skills daily, campers will participate in interactive role-play that encourages them to be physically, socially, and mentally active. This year not only will campers live the story, but they will also learn the science behind it!

LARP is a type of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters’ actions, often in costume and with props. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world while interacting with each other in character. This summer, our workshop will place an emphasis on physics while incorporating various elements from astronomy and geology. Campers will discover the science behind world compositions, planetary orbits, and several methodologies related to terraforming. They will then use these case studies to build their own fictional world and setting. Campers will also practice skills in engineering and design while foam-smithing their own gear and Boffer weapons!

After they finish crafting their world and their gear, there will be daily quests around camp. Campers will use their characters and newfound knowledge to interact with each other, mythical creatures (including some from Jewish folklore), and characters. During our adventures, campers will work as a team, learn creative problem solving, and will actively practice our Sci-Tech values like respect, patience, and curiosity. There will be a combination of parlor LARPs (no physical contact) and of “light-touch” LARPs, where there is some contact from foam weapons (like “tag” but with foam gear). Our quests will often be outside so campers will strengthen both their minds and bodies!

Come join us in the Science of LARP, where adventure, learning, and friends await!

In Digital Art Lab, campers will be diving into their imaginations by exploring and experimenting with the connections between art and technology. This summer, the theme of our Digital Art Lab will be "Experimentation”!

Technology is increasingly recognized as a useful and valued tool that aids in the creative process. It is also an emerging new medium ripe for exploration and experimentation, and there's nothing Sci-Tech loves more than a good experiment! We'll be discovering a wide variety of digital art tools including industry-standard software like Adobe Photoshop, to play with experimental digital techniques. We'll also explore digital illustration techniques, like manipulating layers and filters, to create our own original pieces. Campers will also gain a practical understanding of the ethics behind digital experimentation, especially as it relates to copyright and content ownership.

By the end of the session, campers will leave with the beginnings of a project for their portfolios as well as a list of different software and internet tools they can use from home after camp ends. This workshop is all about curiosity and playfulness, so consider this your invitation to turn your imagination into a technical reality!

*Drawing experience is beneficial, but not required to enjoy the Digital Art Lab Workshop.

Rising 11th Graders are invited to come further the Union for Reform Judaism's mission of creating a more whole, just, and compassionate world through their passion for science and technology! From Henrietta Lacks's involuntary contribution to cancer research to Flint's water crisis, social justice and the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math often go hand in hand.

What’s the science behind the headlines? Why is Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook talking in front of Congress all the time? Why do some social media sites have kinder comments sections than others? What sorts of questions are scientists and inventors asking (or not asking) and how does that impact diverse communities? What do engineers and accessibility have to do with one another? How can we build more inclusive and diverse STEM communities? The questions are seemingly endless!

In this workshop, teens will express their passion for scientific inquiry and technological innovation through investigations rooted in real-world problems. Throughout the session, teens will be exposed to societal challenges and provided with experiential support in finding possible resolutions to seemingly insurmountable systematic problems.

Together let’s practice tikkun olam and repair the world through STEM!

*This is for Yottabytes (i.e. rising 11th graders) ONLY and will only be offered during 3rd session. All Yottabytes are encouraged to register for the Sci-Techkun Olam: Teen Leadership Incubator workshop, which is specifically designed for teens. However, if leadership in STEM is not something that appeals to your family, Yottabytes are welcome to register for the other upper camp workshops with the understanding that they will be in workshops designed for the other upper camp units in grades 8 through 10. 

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 our amazing counselors, who work with our directors and education consultants 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, meaning that there's always something new to discover whether you're at camp for two weeks or six! 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. We often use chugim to experiment with new and fun activities, bringing campers into a mindset of exploration and discovery.

Days at 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy are packed with activities to keep campers engaged! Our goal is to create a balanced, well-rounded experience in which campers can both dive into their areas of interest, and have the opportunity to try new things.

Start End Activity
7:15 7:55 Boker Tov (wakeup)! and Nikayon (cleaning)
8:00 8:15 Boker Big Bang all camp gathering
8:15 9:00 Breakfast
8:15 9:55 Chug (Elective) 1
10:00 10:45 Sababa! (Lawn Games, Gaga, Board Games, and more)
10:50 12:25 Workshop
10:00 1:15 Lunch
1:15 2:05 Menucha (rest hour)
2:10 3:00 Kinesthetic Sciences (aka Sports and Athletics)
3:10 4:00 Workshop
4:00 4:15 Snack
4:15 5:05 Chug (Elective) 2
5:20 6:15 Shower Time
6:30 7:15 Dinner
7:15 7:30 Song Session
7:30 8:30 Evening Program
8:30 9:00 Getting ready for bed/ Night time Ritual
9:00 9:30 9:00 – 5th and 6th grade lights out 9:30 – 7th and 8th grade lights out 10:00 – 9th and 10th grade lights out

Good Morning – Boker Tov! and Cleaning – Nikayon Counselors wake their campers each morning so that the campers have enough time to get dressed, brush their teeth, and comb their hair. Additionally, campers will make their beds, organize their cubbies, and fill their laundry bags.  Campers will also be in charge of tidying the common rooms and lounges before they head to Boker Big Bang.

Morning Ritual – Boker Big Bang One of our campers’ favorite parts of the day! Before breakfast, the entire camp community will come together to sing a few songs, say a few blessings, and perform a cool science demonstration – making something explode! Our faculty of the week will tie in a Jewish text or story to relate to the experiment of the day.

Breakfast – Aruchat Boker As a camp community, we begin our meal by reciting Hamotzi, the blessing before the meal.  See our sample menu section for a selection of breakfasts.  We end our meal with the singing of Birkat Hamazon, the blessing after the meal.

Workshops Campers will work in small groups in one of the eight workshop areas they selected – Video Game Design, Robotics, Digital Film Production, Earth and Sky, Forensics, BioZone, or 3D Animation.  They’ll have 90 minutes every morning and 60 minutes every afternoon to work on their developing their skills and projects in their core areas.

Electives – Chugim Each week, campers select two chugim (electives) – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This gives them an opportunity to experience lots of different activities throughout the session. The chugim are run by all of our staff members, who get an opportunity to share something they’re passionate about with the campers.  Some chugim include: food science, rocketry, chemistry, magic, and digital music production.

Sababa! In addition to teaching our campers about science and technology, we want to foster a strong Jewish community. Part of having a community means giving campers an opportunity to socialize and be with one another in a structured environment. During Sababa campers are together on the main lawn and have an opportunity to play a variety of lawn games, gaga, and participate in some counselor led games. Sababa gives campers the chance to socialize with one another in an informal setting and get to know kids from other halls. Once or twice during each session campers have the opportunity to hear from special guest speakers and plan Shabbat during this time.

Lunch – Aruchat Tzohorayim Lunch functions like breakfast, starting with Hamotzi and ending with Birkat Hamazon.  A sample of lunches can be found in the menu section, and the salad bar and fresh fruit are always available.

Rest Hour – Menucha After an activity-paced morning, campers need to take a break.  During Menucha, campers may sleep, write letters home to family and friends, read, or play quietly with their friends in the lounge or common areas.

Kinesthetic Sciences (aka Sports and Athletics) At 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy, we believe in keeping both our minds and bodies actives.  Campers will be able to select from several sports or outdoor activities each day, like soccer, basketball, walking club, or Gaga. This activity is led by our professionally trained staff who help campers stay active and to understand the importance of a healthy body.

Shower Time Campers get ready for dinner by showering and cleaning up after a long day.  This is also a time when they can hang out in the common areas.

Dinner – Aruchat Erev We start dinner with Hamotzi and end with Birkat Hamazon.  Like lunch, the salad bar and fresh fruit will always be available, along with a wide variety of dinner options.

Evening Program – Tochnit Erev Our evening programs are fun, active programs around camp that our counselors, instructors, and leadership team help to plan and run.  Evening programs may include scavenger hunts around camp, Israel-themed activities, special guest performances, etc.

Snack Campers will receive a snack in the afternoon to keep them going throughout the busy day!

Dorm Time Before campers go to sleep, counselors have the opportunity to plan a short activity just for their campers, which may be a debrief of the day, a game of cards, or other organized activity.  Campers say Sh'ma together before heading to sleep!