At Summer Spark day camps, located in south central Austin at Zilker Elementary, rising 1st through 6th graders come alive as they engage in weekly creative problem solving challenges. Summer Spark is run by former elementary teacher Kaylie Reed who uses her background as a Montessori teacher and her experience developing the elementary program at Acton Academy to thoughtfully design and implement the weekly challenges.
With packed schedules, powerful media everywhere, and performance pressure on schools, we believe that a fundamental component of a strong foundation is missing in the lives of many children today: The ability to tackle a problem with no set solution – to think creatively and flexibly, to struggle, fail, and try again, to test, revise, and reiterate. At Summer Spark, we strive to fill this gap. We are all about physical experiments, purposeful tinkering, and messy construction. Summer Spark is Creativity Unplugged.
Each week at Summer Spark features a different challenge which provides the opportunity to boost the 3Cs – creative problem solving, collaboration, and confidence. Whether designing a rollercoaster for a marble or building a car from recycled materials, campers apply creativity as they innovate, collaborate with peers in search of solutions, and gain confidence as they learn from set-backs. Summer Spark days are a careful balance between individual and group activity, and time for relaxation, reflection, and play.
This year’s weekly challenges include:
Marble Rollercoasters: Using a variety of household materials, campers transform trash into treasure as they design, build, and refine marble runs.
Stop the Plop: Campers design, build, and test containers to try and avoid the plop, or rather splatter, of a raw egg hitting a hard surface.
Invention Convention: Campers are presented with a series of invention challenges – or maybe come up with their own – that inspire them to persevere as they design, test, and tinker.
Structural Integrity: Campers take on a series of building challenges with limited resources and unlimited creativity.
Medieval Construction: Campers use two simple machines – pulleys and levers – along with lots of imagination, to build defense systems for their castles.
Car-dboard Mechanics: Campers use two simple machines – wheel + axle and inclined plane – along with lots of imagination, to build cars and tracks.
We understand that coordinating summer schedules can be overwhelming. We hope to make your life a little easier with no registration fees and full refunds if your plans change and your child cannot attend camp. Visit www.summerspark.com to register today.