At 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy-West, 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 team-based, collaborative environment. Workshops, our featured programs, allow campers to explore the topics they're most passionate about throughout the entire camp session, while chuggim give campers the opportunity to explore new topics in shorter, week-long sessions.

Program Details

Upon registration, campers choose from one of four primary tracks, or “workshops,” where they spend 2½ hours each day working on projects they design as they explore their passion area:

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 to build a robot that completes a age-appropriate challenge that is intellectually stimulating, Jewish, and exciting!

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, our Passover themed Matzoh Ball Mania challenge, 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. You can find robotics workshop wrap-up videos from last summer here.

The Video Game Design Workshop allows campers to bring their story or adventure to life on the screen. Using a variety of programming tools, campers will design their very own games. Our professional instructors carefully place campers in pairs or groups with similar goals to ensure that campers learn in the most supportive and collaborative environment possible. Campers are divided by grade and/or skills level into groups with campers sharing similar interests in the games they would like to design.

Campers with varying experiences can work with an array of tools. 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), StarLogo (for campers who like 3D level and terrain design), Gamemaker, as well as Unity with Playmaker, a more advanced 3D platform for experienced game designers, used in professional settings across the globe. More experienced campers and returning campers will delve deeper into these tools or experience new platforms for designing games. There is an endless amount to learn when designing games! Working together, all campers will develop the story, game mechanics, characters, backgrounds and other elements of their video games. All campers can take home their games and continue creating their games back home!

In the Astrophysics workshop, campers will discover the wonders of what lies above our earth’s atmosphere and be able to answer a popular question for astronomical phenomena: how do we know? Our campers will become informed scientists and astronomers, learning about the history, physics, and astronomy principles through numerous experiments and activities so that by the end of camp, they can answer their peers when they’re asked, “well how do you know?”

At Sci-Tech West, learning about stars and planets is out of this world! From the guiding North Star to the unseen Dark Matter in the universe, campers will explore some of the sky’s one hundred billion galaxies, planets, moons, as well as the stars we can see at camp using telescopes and spectroscopes. Campers will return home with an in-depth knowledge of Kepler’s Laws, with the skills to understand the motion of orbits in the solar system, using real data from real solar objects.

Our instructors will guide campers through topics like the life cycle of a star, general relativity and quantum mechanics,  gravitational waves, and study craters using the same methods as today’s astronomers and astrophysicists.

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 will explore new ailments and symptoms and introduce campers to different medical studies. 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.

Special Workshop Option only for Entering 9th and 10th Graders

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. Others have done it! Neha Juneja, Co-Founder of Greenway Grameen Cookstoves, 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 knowledge they’ve learned from their past experiences, and address major challenges through creative problem-solving and STEM.

During the session, campers will be divided up into small groups to design a new social venture. Each group is challenged to pick a local or global challenge and come up with a STEM solution that could change the world. Components of this workshop include: research, design process iteration, and business model strategy using existing knowledge including coding, web design, engineering, media and film, or scientific research.

This workshop is a great sequel for teens who were have taken previous SciTech workshops last summer and also great for those looking for a new and advanced Sci-Tech experience. Come join us in Operation Impact, become a change-maker and prove that what happens at Sci-Tech can change the world!

As a special program for 9th & 10th graders, teens can also choose to participate in a 2-session version of this program to take their project further during the second session. In this workshop, teens must be prepared and willing to work in groups with one another. In addition, 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.

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 for a total for four chugim per session. 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
  • Food Science
  • Virtual Worlds (using Minecraft)
  • Arduino Programming
  • Digital Music / Recording Studio
  • Rube Goldberg Machines
  • Sports, including soccer, frisbee golf, volleyball, and many more

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.

Our daily schedule is filled with fun science, exciting new technology, and infinite opportunities for fun and friendships. Below is a sample schedule that exemplifies what our campers could experience on a normal day at camp: