Programs

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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.

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. We also have a five day Taste of Camp program for rising 4th and 5th graders during Session 3 for our youngest campers looking to experiment with what Sci-Tech has to offer!

Workshops

Robotics

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 Game Design

*This workshop focuses primarily on the creative design process when it comes to making video game designs. It does not focus on playing video games or programming! While programming and game development software is utilized to help campers bring a playable prototype of their vision to life, campers who want to focus primarily on their coding skills (rather than their design skills) should instead take our Programming and Coding Workshop!  

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 a templated digital design mini-project to acquaint campers with the available development tools. Next, campers form small teams to dig deep into the principles and practices of game design, starting with a game concept description; novel concepts are encouraged and supported through tabletop (paper-based) mock-ups. Each team brings its vision to a playable prototype, through a simulation of the process followed by professional game designers, using a variety of digital development tools and methods. Working collaboratively, every camper on the team has a role in creating the story, characters, player mechanics, environment, and other elements of their game.

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, the primary game engines used in previous summers included Scratch (great for a variety of 2D games), CoSpaces (for easy collaboration on block-coded 3D games), and BlocksmithXR (for the realism and flexibility of Unity but an easier learning-curve).

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

Programming & Coding: JavaScript

Whether you love the challenge of programming a web app 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 JavaScript programming language! It is one of the most popular programming languages, voted the most used language for ten years in a row by StackOverflow, and is one of the foundational programming languages for web development.  It is a lightweight programming language that can be easily integrated into other frameworks, and it has played a significant role in creating interactive web pages and web apps.  It is also a key feature in most web browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. But JavaScript isn’t only used to make websites interactive! It can also be used to build browser-based games and, with the help of certain frameworks, mobile apps for different operating systems. 

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. 

Digital Film Production

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 in DFP 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 to write, film, and edit their film together with our professional-level equipment and specialist instructors.

More experienced campers in our upper camp workshop have the opportunity to develop advanced skills and focus on technical tricks and the editing process through a more hands-on and individualized filmmaking process. Campers have the option to make a creative short film in our Tech Track while learning complex techniques in areas such as cinematography, green-screening, VFX, lighting, color grading, motion graphics, and more. These campers will have more room to play with an individual idea rather than a larger group project.

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 and advanced computer software options – to realize their artistic visions. Our instructors work with campers to write scenes, create shot lists, execute multiple camera angles, adjust for lighting, and direct their movies.

Once the footage is filmed, campers use professional tools in the Adobe professional suite to develop hands-on experience in editing and VFX, music scoring, and sound effects. Through this project-based creation process, campers grow their skillset and explore the amazing world of digital film production.

Chemistry

What makes up our universe? What elements were in your breakfast this morning? How is electricity made? In our new Chemistry Workshop, campers will discover the answers to these questions and more as they experiment and hypothesize about the world we live in! 

In this Chemistry Workshop, campers will work in small lab groups, just like in a real research setting! Together they’ll develop and test hypotheses about the substances of this universe, their properties, and the ways in which these substances interact, combine, and affect our world. Campers will cooperatively explore the chemical makeup of organic substances (like the foods we eat), inorganic materials (like nanoparticles), and biomolecules (like DNA). Campers will conduct experiments to better understand phenomena like combustion, acids/bases, molecular synthesis, and more! Campers will leave the workshop with a deeper understanding of the steps involved in the scientific method and how we can create a better world through the power of chemistry.  

Digital Art: Graphic Design

Everywhere we look today involves something created using the skills of a graphic designer.  From phones to digital billboards, and business cards to posters, the tools of graphic design help convey messages and information most effectively. Has an advertisement ever caught your eye and sparked your interest? That was the work of a graphic designer! 

Campers will explore the fundamentals of graphic design, such as symmetry, color, composition, and more. This workshop will allow campers to learn some of the most commonly used professional design tools, such as Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as other fun and creative technology tools.  Learning techniques such as manipulating layers, using filters, and creating vector illustrations will allow campers to begin expressing their ideas and creativity in a visual medium. 

By the end of the session, campers will have the knowledge of different software and internet tools they can use from home after camp ends, as well as the beginnings of a portfolio of designs and projects they can share will family and friends. No previous experience or artistic skills are necessary for this workshop, and campers of all skill levels will have the opportunity for growth and exploration! 

Cryptology

Ready to try your hand at real-world code-breaking? Think like a mathematician and a secret agent by cracking ciphers and discovering secrets, all while improving your math and analytic skills! 

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. 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. 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 even create your own.  

Now available for lower campers! Lower campers will focus on logic problems and challenging puzzle games, while upper campers will dive into the higher-level mathematical concepts utilized in cryptology to encode and decode messages. 

Special Workshops & Programs

Behavioral Sciences *Upper Camp Only*

Who are you? Why are you considering this workshop? What are you thinking right now? And what exactly are “thoughts” anyways?! Just like the ancient rabbis, modern behavioral scientists ask questions about the human mind every day, and use “human subjects research” to answer all sorts of questions about how people think, learn, and make decisions! But what exactly is a human subjects research experiment? And how do we conduct research on the human mind without becoming mad evil scientists?   

In this workshop, campers will learn about the different types of experiments scientists use to understand the mind and the brain! We’re going to design our own human behavior experiments and see what we can learn about our camp community and our friends! Campers will become authentic researchers by analyzing the data from their own experiments. We’re even going to practice the ancient Jewish art of “peer review!”    

This summer, explore the world, wielding nothing but the scientific method, and become an adventurer of cognitively epic proportions. Bravely dive deep into the most mysterious depths of all… our minds!  We’re so PSYCHED to see you in this special-edition workshop! 

Sci-Techkun Olam: Teen Leadership Incubator *SESSION 3 ONLY* *RISING 11TH GRADERS ONLY*

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! When talking about Flint’s water crisis, green energy, or equitable vaccine access, 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 technologies can we invent to make an impact on people’s lives? How can we take our science from the lab to real-world policy changes? 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 exploring 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.”

Taste of Camp: Discovery Lab *SESSION 3 ONLY* *RISING 4TH + 5TH GRADERS ONLY*

Rising 4th and 5th graders are invited to get a taste of camp in this 6-day mini session. Campers will experience modules of the most popular workshops at camp, including Robotics, Digital Film, and Sciences to help them discover their passions in science and technology. Campers will also get to explore a number of the chugim (electives) at camp, and experience the one-of-a-kind Sci-Tech Shabbat as a part of their time at camp.

*This is for rising 4th & 5th graders ONLY and will only be offered during the first part of 3rd session: July 25 – July 30.

Machon (CIT) Teen Leadership *RISING 12TH GRADERS ONLY*

At URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy, we create experiences that allow our campers and now teens to grow through science inquiry, Jewish discovery, leadership, and fun. Our Machon Teen Leadership program, which means “Foundation” as well as “Institute,” gives our teens the opportunity to build community, teach, and become effective leaders and change agents at camp, in STEM, and beyond.

The program’s goals are to create opportunities for personal and professional growth, provide hands-on leadership experience and STEM education skill-building, to give back to the 6 Points Sci-Tech community as a leader and role model, and to impact camp in a meaningful way, all while adding depth to their resumes and completing community service hours.

There are three main areas of focus: training, leadership, and innovation.

Read more!

*This is for rising 12th graders ONLY.

Chugim

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

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. 

Example Daily Schedule

 Lower CampUpper Camp
7:00 amBoker TovSleeping
7:30BREAKFASTBoker Tov & Nikayon
8:15Boker Big Bang
8:40NikayonBREAKFAST
9:20WorkshopChug 1
Sababa
10:50SababaWorkshop
Chug 1
12:40 pmLUNCH
1:30Menucha (Rest Hour)
2:30KinestheticsKinesthetics
3:30Chug 2Workshop
4:30WorkshopChug 2
5:30DINNERDinner Prep
6:30Evening ProgramDINNER
8:45Bedtime PrepEvening Program
9:15BedtimeBedtime Prep
10:00Bedtime