Courses

Little Wonders

Session I

Session II

Session III

 

Little Wonders 2017

 

A special, self-contained pre-school class. Enter an engaging environment specially designed for younger children. Explore hands-on science, create lots of artwork and enjoy delightful story books. Short recesses on the playground and snacks are included. Children in this group will stay with one teacher all morning. Class size limited to 12. We request that all Pre-K admissions be discussed with the Summer Wonders office.

 

Session I

 

Curious Kids

PreK (Little Wonders only)

Is your Little Wonder a budding scientist or an enthusiastic engineer? Maybe both? Can we learn about science from gummy bears, milk or apples? You bet we can! Our Little Wonders are in for a treat this session; through hands-on science experiments, artistic discoveries and exploring books they will grow and expand their knowledge and love of science. Always paying close attention to allergies and dietary restrictions, we will use everyday items and food from the kitchen to learn, expand, and deepen scientific concepts.

 

Session II

 

Building Things While Building Brains

PreK (Little Wonders only)

In this class, Little Wonders will build things with a variety of materials, such as sand, Play-Doh, blocks, recycled materials, boxes, and sticks. We will observe and recreate patterns in building and then share our creations with each other. We will use problem-based learning to create buildings that best resist wind. We will also look at a variety of buildings and make our own blueprints from different points-of-view. Kinesthetic games and literature selections will round out the children's experiences while our thinking grows and develops.

 

Session III

 

Curious Kids

PreK (Little Wonders only)

Is your Little Wonder a budding scientist or an enthusiastic engineer? Maybe both? Can we learn about science from gummy bears, milk or apples? You bet we can! Our Little Wonders are in for a treat this session; through hands-on science experiments, artistic discoveries and exploring books they will grow and expand their knowledge and love of science. Always paying close attention to allergies and dietary restrictions, we will use everyday items and food from the kitchen to learn, expand, and deepen scientific concepts.

 

Summer Wonders 2017

 

Nature’s Masterpieces

K – 6th grade

How developed are your investigation and imagination skills? Take a closer look at a leaf, a ladybug, or the bark of a tree. Under a microscope, or even a magnifying glass, it may look like there are alien creatures inhabiting some of Earth’s smallest places. Take a closer look and see the amazing colors, patterns and symmetry contained within this miniature culture. Join in the hunt for art as we explore the elements of the nature around us. While beautiful and interesting to look at, you will discover the meaningful reasons for the existence of these natural properties. We will create a journal for pressing flowers and other bits of nature, as well as take nature notes (pictorial or written), and make botanical illustrations / prints of leaves, bark and more!

 

Scale Academy

K – 6th grade

“Scale Academy” is a class using measurements to build a range of different things. Our young constructors will gain experience building accurate, to-scale models and miniatures. As a class, we will go beyond the diorama; we will construct everything from dollhouses to our solar system. Using ratios and measurements this will truly be an out-of-the box experience. This class will enable the participants to become visually aware of the relative size of the Earth as compared to the sun, how to construct furniture that will fit into a dollhouse and to come away from the lesson having gained a deeper understanding of size, ratios and how to make things fit.

 

Build a Better Board Game

K – 6th grade

In week one of Build a Better Board Game, gamers will study the history of the world’s most popular board games. We’ll explore, discover and question why games like Candy Land, Monopoly and Clue have stood the test of time. In week two, these innovative game designers will use what they learn to create their own, personalized board games. It might be that your game needs a board like Candy Land but have the rules of Battleship. Maybe, you desperately need to play a board game that involves your family pet. Your imagination is your only limitation; this course will definitely raise the stakes at family game night!

 

Inspired Writers Club

K – 8th grade

If you already love to write, or are just looking for a new way to express your creative side, then the Inspired Writers Club is the course for you! Inspired Writers Club is designed to guide students in creative writing through experience in three genres: poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. During this fun-filled course, we'll explore the work of accomplished writers and poets in order to find new avenues of inspiration for our own writing. Through games and engaging activities, students will learn key elements of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, and apply new skills to their writing process.

 

Tantalizing Tastes in America

2nd – 6th grade

What does Navajo fry bread have to do with WWII? Why did veterans returning from a foreign war crave pizza? And what is the connection between granola and 1960s-era Woodstock hippies? How did these foods come to be such a central aspect of our culture? Together, we’ll explore these questions as we dive into the most fascinating aspects of American food tradition. Join us for a mouth-watering experience as we dig up the secrets, history and stories behind these traditions – and then roll up our sleeves to see for ourselves as we make these foods. Don’t forget your appetite, as we’ll be sampling them all!

 

Problem Solving in the Universal Language

4th – 8th grade

Figuring out the solutions to problems is a daily human activity. We observe; we experiment. We hypothesize; we dare to explore the unexplored. Whether it’s the right number of beats in the song that we can’t shake out of our heads or it’s the number of goals/baskets/points our favorite athletes have amassed, numbers are the letters of the language that the entire universe speaks. Would it surprise you that these numbers have personalities like you and me? What if you could use numbers to answer the craziest of questions? What if you had the chance to see what others often do not? Would you dare take a look? This class will help you take your first steps toward fluency in the language that every human speaks: numbers.

 

Experiencing Hamilton: The Musical

4th – 8th grade

“I’m just like my country. I’m young, scrappy, and hungry.”

Come explore the world of Hamilton with others who are intrigued and inspired to sing, dance, learn, and compose - all in the name of Hamilton. This course is for the musical theater enthusiast, the rap battle contender, the contentious debater, the warriors with words, and the American History buff. What part will you play? Come experience this time period through works of art - whether literature, film, theater or visual arts - drawn from real events in history. What event in American history would you like to use as inspiration for your own creative piece? What would you do with it? Would you write a scene from a musical or novel, paint a picture, make a video or create a poem? To what extent would you need to take creative license with the facts? Why?

 

Chamber of Secrets…Vacuum Secrets

4th – 8th grade

If pets could talk, they would tell you the vacuum is a mysterious object indeed. But it doesn’t have to be that way! In this course we will make hypotheses about effects of a vacuum chamber on various materials. We will see marshmallows double in size and re-collapse on themselves, balloons grow and shrink before your eyes, and water boil till it freezes! (yes…as it freezes!). We will figure out what happens to water in outer space or what a firecracker sounds like in space.  We will even build our own personal vacuum chambers and different instruments to measure the atmospheric pressure. Scientific and mathematical concepts such as pressure, sound, and temperature will be discussed and our knowledge deepened.

 

Living in a Minecraft World

4th – 8th grade

Would you use a stone axe or iron ax to chop down trees? Would you know how to make glass by smelting down sand? These are some (of many) questions that arise in a Minecraft world. Join us as we explore the science behind gathering and engineering resources to craft structures of artistry and innovation architectural design!  Each lesson will focus on chemistry, technology, engineering, artistry and mathematics coupled with problem solving, cooperative learning and inquiry. An electronic device with Internet capability will be required on specified days, but we can provide computers if needed. Experience with Minecraft™ is not required.

 

SI afternoon theme: Ologies

Why are we exploring the theme of OLOGIES? When we hear the suffix “ology” we begin to immediately add prefixes that excite us: archeology, biology, geology, and (maybe) even Roly poly ology! It is our belief that by studying OLOGIES we build on a foundation of inquiry that allows students to make predictions, discover patterns, observe structures, and ignites an appreciate for various disciplines, topics, and subjects.

Summer Wonders 2017

 

Gymnastics Galore!

K – 4th grade

Are you ready to experience the balance beam, mat-work, tumbling, miniature trampoline, low-bar, jump-rope and hula hoop? This class focuses on developmental gymnastics skills, coordination, cooperative activities, rhythm, balance, strength, flexibility, speed, agility, nutritious movements and skill-related movements. As each skill is learned, new challenges are added so that students will continue to learn at their own pace. Students are to wear appropriate clothing for gym (no non-stretch jeans or loose fitting clothing). Students will practice bare-feet (or with pre-approved footwear or socks)..

 

Mark my Words: The History of Writing Implements

K – 6th grade

Write like an Egyptian! Learn the evolution of the physical written word and experience firsthand how different cultures from different times made their mark. Students will write into a clay tablet, that they will make, using a stylus (twig) that they will find. The participants will discover their inner Shakespeare or Harry Potter by writing with a quill on parchment paper. They will see how etchings, wood blocks and other print mechanisms, are made and used. The class will create their own hieroglyphics and send messages to one another to see if they can communicate clearly. The class will teach students how the basic alphabet has remained the same since early times and that cave paintings were not only decorative but a way that early humans communicated their ideas to one another.

 

Adventures in Textiles: Is That Sheep Wearing My Sweater?

K – 8th grade

You may have wondered how clothing is made, but have you considered how the fabric used in your clothing is made? Are silk threads really created by little worms? How are man-made fabrics created? The answers to these questions, and more, can be discovered in this class! Join in and explore how cotton plants and animal wool can be pulled and stretched into thread. Using these threads, experience how fabrics are woven together. Experiment with natural and man-made dyes to bring life to the fabric with magnificent colors and designs. After this class, you will never look at textiles in the same way again!

 

BIG SONG EXPLOSION!

K – 8th grade

Do you have a passion for songwriting or are you interested in learning how music is arranged? In this class, we will work as a group to compose a masterpiece of a song - collaborating with all the classes within the session! We will be recording instruments such as: keyboards (electronic pianos), glockenspiels, drum machines, our voices, AND instruments we make ourselves! Once we're finished recording, I will demonstrate how the arrangement was created, as well as highlighting individual contributions, and we’ll enjoy listening to the final song! Since it’s sure to be a billboard hit, parents will receive an audio file e-mail to enjoy for many years to come.

 

Traversing the 4th dimension: Time Traveling

2nd – 8th grade

“Knock knock?”

“Who’s there?”

“Sir Lancelot, King Tut, Alexander Hamilton, the Beatles, Fonzi, the Village People, and many more!”

How fun does it sound to literally step into another place in time every single day? What does a day in the life of an Ancient Egyptian look like? What did they do all day? What did they eat? I wonder what it would be like if I got painting upside down lessons from Michelangelo, would I be just as famous? What was it like to live during the period of the birth of rock and roll, when everyone danced the jitterbug, wore poodle skirts and bobby socks?

Mummies, pyramids and Cleopatra oh my! Egypt was the place to be! I wonder how I would look in a tie dye t-shirt, bell bottom jeans and John Lennon glasses while dancing to a disco beat? The Knights of the Round Table might need to help to find the Holy Grail. Can Sir Lancelot show me the way? I’ll follow the life of an orphan in the Caribbean to his exciting life during 1776 all while listening to some hip-hop!

 

The 20-Sided Storyteller

2nd – 8th grade

Step into a realm of dragon’s fire, unicorn magic and vampire lore. In The 20-Sided Storyteller, you truly get to choose your own adventure. In week one, we will explore some of the world’s most popular and lasting role playing games by both researching their histories and hands on experiences. In week two, little magicians will use this knowledge to create a personalized RPG that they can take with them and continue to perfect over time. The dice may only have 20 sides, but the possibilities are endless.

 

Ready, Set, Speak!

4th – 8th grade

Harness the power of the greatest sayings, ideas, and speeches! Tickle your friends and family with the humor hidden in everyday language. Learn the secrets to unlocking the punch that only the best arranged words deliver. In this class, we will explore the power that words have had in history and even in our world today. Relying on each student’s personal interest, students will construct a system of words that will enhance your power to speak persuasively about a topic that matters to you. This class will support you in strengthening your beliefs, your craftiness with words, and, most importantly, it will take you one step further to polishing your own voice, whether written or spoken, a tool that many forget they possess.

 

Space Odyssey 2017

4th – 8th grade

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Blast off! Have you ever looked up at the nighttime sky and wonder what’s out there? Join the Space Odyssey 2017 crew as we take an awe-inspiring look at what it would be like to sail through space. Our crew will study the scientific advancements throughout history; comparing today’s innovations to the 1960 documentary “Universe”. The Space Odyssey crew will learn the major components that make up our universe, and will also investigate rocketry and design rockets ready for launching.

 

Making Electricity!

4th – 8th grade

In this class, we will build a Van de Graaff Machine generating 500,000+ volts of electricity. We will answer lifelong questions about electricity, such as: “Why does your hair stand up on end after going down a slide?” or “Why do I get shocked sometimes when wearing my socks?” But that’s not all! We will also build a Tesla Coil! We will define electricity, explore its attributes, and understand how it is measured with amperes, volts, and coulombs. We will explore the relationship between electricity and magnetism and even introduce Einstein’s theory of relativity. Let’s make some electricity together!

 

Cooking for the mind, body and soul

5th – 8th grade

Are you tired of packaged, greasy junk foods? Maybe you just want to start helping in the kitchen. Do you want to learn how to make a variety of healthy and delicious meals that will make your body feel great? In addition to making meals, we will practice the basics of safety, preparation, sanitation, and sautéing. This class will help to foster a love for clean eating and wellness. We will cook a variety of breakfast, dinner, and dessert foods, accommodating food allergies. We will even experiment with using alternative foods to replace some of the empty calorie foods we’ve gotten use to eating. From beginner to expert chef, you will find a place here. Culinary education is one of the most effective strategies in living a healthier, happier life. Feed the body and you will also nourish the mind and soul.

 

Session II morning classes to be posted no later than March 1st

 

SII afternoon theme: Horizons

Why are we exploring the theme of HORIZONS? When we hear the word “horizon” what might come to mind is the apparent intersection of the earth and sky as seen by an observer, or the range of one’s knowledge, experience, or interest. It is our belief that we can expand, explore, and discover HORIZONS (of all kinds) in order to broaden our experiences, possibilities, critical thinking, creativity, and wisdom.

 

Summer Wonders 2017

 

Gymnastics Galore!

K – 4th grade

Are you ready to experience the balance beam, mat-work, tumbling, miniature trampoline, low-bar, jump-rope and hula hoop? This class focuses on developmental gymnastics skills, coordination, cooperative activities, rhythm, balance, strength, flexibility, speed, agility, nutritious movements and skill-related movements. As each skill is learned, new challenges are added so that students will continue to learn at their own pace. Students are to wear appropriate clothing for gym (no non-stretch jeans or loose fitting clothing). Students will practice bare-feet (or with pre-approved footwear or socks)..

 

Recycle Redesign T-Shirt Revolution

K – 6th grade

Do you have an eye for design? This is a class for reconstructing the t-shirt. Create different fashions and learn simple sewing techniques. Cut, tie, glue, and sew together modern fashions! Make it Avant Guard, make it punk, make it tie-dye. Students will learn how to embellish the simple, basic, classic t-shirt and in doing so create a work of art. As a class, we will explore costume history, fashion design and tailoring. Students will discover what statements fashion designers make merely by adding something decorative to a basic garment. In the act of creating and decorating our own t-shirts the class will discover that simple or outrageous, the t-shirt is the most universal fashion item.

 

Write-A-Song!

K – 8th grade

In this class, students will work in small teams (or alone) to create original musical compositions! Students will work in a “cycle” of playing instruments, recording and arranging. By the end of the class they will all have made original songs! Students will have access to many instruments, such as electronic keyboards and miscellaneous percussion, and also be able to work with vocals and digital instruments! You don’t need to be an expert or have prior experience in playing instruments in order to be successful. You just need to be willing to take a risk and let your creativity soar over the course of the class.

 

Discovering Who We Are Through Comfort Foods

K – 8th grade

According to The Miriam Webster Dictionary, “comfort food” is described as: Food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal. The more modern Urban Dictionary has a similar definition, adding that it is food that gives emotional comfort and that it tends to be favorite foods from childhood, or linked to a special person. Since the inception of the words “comfort food” the meaning has stayed the same. But, to each of us this is something completely individual, according to our culture and where we are from. What are your favorite foods? What foods bring to mind a special person, place or event? Learn basic kitchen prep and cooking techniques as we create and enjoy some of our favorite recipes. Food allergies will be taken into consideration.

 

Master Fencing, Master Life

1st – 8th grade

'Master Fencing, Master Life' is an ancient Italian adage about the Olympic sport of fencing. In this class, students will learn and practice basic fencing footwork, bladework, other moves, tactics, and strategy. They will strive to improve their skills through drills, practice bouting, games, conditioning exercises, watching some of the highest level bouts in recent history at World Cups as well as The Olympics, taking and reviewing video of themselves fencing, competing in mock tournaments, as well as group, and individual lessons with the coach. Additionally, this will all be supplemented with lessons on the history and traditions of fencing. Coach Michael Cravey’s students have received national ratings in the past and have won medals at various competitions throughout Texas.

 

Shakespeare's Science

2nd – 8th grade

Pendulums, parallax, and potions Oh My! Journey back in time with the world's most famous playwright, William Shakespeare, as we discover the science of his day. We will use his words and the discoveries of his contemporaries, such as Brahe and Galileo, to explore Chemistry, Astronomy, Meteorology, Physics, and Biology. If "something wicked this way comes," we'll decide which potion to employ. Finally we will ask ourselves, "To feast, or not to feast," after making an Elizabethan tart.

 

Here comes Speed Racer…

3rd – 8th grade

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! Linear motion is what moves us all around. Our pit crew will take a look at forces and speed used in cars. We will explore the mechanics of motion using our superior math skills to predict faster rates along with the best aerodynamic designs. Ultimately, we will put our knowledge to the test by building the fastest mousetrap car! Students in this session should be comfortable with multiplication and division of double digits.

 

Strange Connections: Seeing sounds and hearing light!

4th – 8th grade

In this class, we will look at the properties of sound through a Ruben’s tube (fire tube), and the effects of sound on water and other objects. We will also explore the properties of electricity and magnetism (electromagnetism) by building a variety of speakers out of everything from plastic to paper. We will also see light that is invisible and hear light that is visible! We will discuss the essence of light and its many forms. This class will be packed with fun experiments and explorations.

 

Session III morning classes to be posted no later than March 1st

 

SIII afternoon theme: Connections

Why are we exploring the theme of CONNECTIONS? When we think about the word “connection” we naturally begin to seek and find similarities between things. By understanding the connections that exist in this world students will develop an appreciation of differences and similarities that are universal to us all. In recognizing these CONNECTIONS we are able to ground ourselves and engage with the world, people, and situations with newfound appreciation and compassion.

Summer Wonders is proud to be a five-time winner of Best Summer Camp in the Austin Chronicle Readers’ Poll

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