Summer Camps 2015: A summer of growth and empathy

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Our 2015 Wizards of i Summer Camp series was our largest and most inspiring yet! Featuring our unique combination of 21st Century Skills and hands-on STEM, campers unleashed their inner geniuses and developed empathetic innovations. We premiered a new camp: Kitchen Chemistry. It inspired a Food Network-style show that showcased student inventions that could help solve global problems. In all our camps, children gained a love of science, a sense of community, and a desire to use their strengths to better their world.

Innovation Lab Highlights:

  • * Children persevered and thought outside-of-the-box to solve engineering dilemmas, along the way having lots of fun constructing roller coasters, buildings, and submarines
  • * Children learned about their own intelligences and learning styles and put this knowledge to use in personalized projects to create new inventions.
  • * They learned ways to self-regulate and became adept at yoga!
  • * They examined how technology can support empathetic approaches to life.
  • * Each student designed and printed their own names on a 3D printer.
  • * Students used Design Thinking to develop and test prototypes of new innovations, many made out of recycling and unexpected household items.
  • * Children collaborated on shared goals and projects. One young boy said, “I learned to be a good part of a team.” Another student said, “I learned how to be a good leader and communicate.”
  • * Every student showed off their skills and newfound confidence as they “pitched” their innovations to an audience of adults.
  • * In an exit interview, one student exclaimed, “I learned that I like Science!”


See a slideshow of additional highlights from Innovation Lab 2015.

Amazing Race Around the World Highlights:

  • * Children learned to respect themselves and others by learning about differences and commonalities among us all.
  • * Children gained a new appreciation for cultures from around the world by trying new foods, clothes, languages, and customs.
  • * They learned about and created models of systems from other countries and the United States, such as types of government, economies, and even homes!
  • * They worked in teams to brainstorm and create brand new micro-nations, and then collaborated across teams to sign Peace Treaties.
  • * They learned how to safely use the Internet and technology to learn about other countries and to connect with children in other places.
  • * Children faced challenges and competitions with enthusiasm and gusto, while learning to embrace failure and live with losses along the way. In exit interviews, two students said, “I learned to be my Best Self!”
  • * They tried to play new instruments from around the world and even made their own instruments out of recycling!
  • * They connected via Skype with children in Kenya and learned about similarities (soccer) and differences (what, no pizza?).
  • * They used math and geographic tools to calculate their own pace length and find distances in the real world.
  • * They embraced outdoor learning!


Watch a Slideshow of more highlights from the Amazing Race Around the World 2015.

Kitchen Chemistry Highlights:

  • * Everyone in camp took on a role – such as producer, cameraman, editor, director, Star, even taster – to collaborate on a “Food Network” pilot show called “Helping Hands.” The pilot showcased innovations (such as solar ovens and vessels that can deliver food long distances) that would help alleviate world hunger.
  • * Children picked up healthy eating habits and tried out new recipes. Parents reported that their children were insisting on healthy foods at home!
  • * Many of our repeat students showed a marked increase in confidence by willingly and effectively giving public presentations.
  • * We worked one-on-one with students to identify strengths and improve personal skills. In an exit interview, one student reported that iSchool taught him that “being nicer to people gets you friends and makes teamwork easier.”
  • * They created and improved prototypes, including making a solar oven that actually worked.
  • * Children tried out lots of food-based experiments, from burning cakes to exploding acids!
  • * Children learned about the origin of their foods by tending to a compost pile and garden, and chowed down on their freshly harvested vegetables.


Watch a Slideshow of more highlights from Kitchen Chemistry 2015.

Special thanks to our Guest Speakers, Volunteers, Teachers, and Skype Friends in Kenya!