Empow Camp FAQs:
Is this for really “techie” kids?
Not at all. We emphasize storytelling and creativity, and technology serves as a tool to tell stories in a rich way. Guided by our instructors, all campers learn technical tools at their own level and pace as needed for the selected projects.
Will my child be on the computer all day?
We start and end the each day with group games and take a break from projects every two hours for group activities. Lunch break also includes a longer outdoor recess with games like capture the flag.
Can Campers Learn How to Code?
Yes! We offer several languages students can Code in during their time with us at camp.
At all of the Empow Camps, there will be the following Programming Languages:
- Our popular video game design software, Gamemaker, has a programming game code called GML.
- Movements for the Lego Mindstorm robots also require programming, however, this is not done via a scripting language, but a visual drag-and-drop system. (A great way to learn the principles of programming!)
*At the Minecraft Edition of camp, there will also be the opportunity to program mods in Java.
Who is eligible?
Empow Camp is open to children who have completed grades 1 to 8 at the time of the session.
My child has special needs. Can he or she attend?
Thank you for asking. In general, the answer is “yes”, but it is very important for us to know in advance when a child has special needs so that we can plan for it appropriately and maximize their learning and enjoyment without disproportionately taking staff’s attention from other participants. Also, please be sure to read the section on special needs in our policy.
How do you manage such a wide age range in the same group?
Child development is a huge, dynamic spectrum. Children of same age sometimes have vastly different abilities and interests. We pay attention individually to a child’s emotional makeup, reading level, ability to work independently, ability to sustain focus, and other developmental factors. We also pair up more experienced campers with the less experienced to foster mentorship and support learning by both sides.
Are campers separated by age?
The short answer is that all campers share one learning space; we do not divide different ages into different classrooms. Those working on the same technologies tend to be grouped together (so that everyone working on robotics is in the robotics area, everyone working on video game design is seated in the same area, etc), and then students of similar ages work near other kids their age within that technology group. For additional details, please see our blog post on the subject.
What is the difference between the full-day and half-day sessions?
The only difference is the amount of time students have to complete their projects. Half-day and full-day students have the same program options open to them. For AM-only campers, we highly recommend upgrading to full day on Friday in order to participate in the project showcase held Friday afternoon at 3pm.
Can I visit my child in camp?
We encourage parents and friends to visit. We do ask that you arrange your visit with the Workshop Director in advance. It’s also a good idea to linger around a bit at pick-up time, chat with the staff, and ask your child about their project. We don’t recommend coming in early for pickup, as that disrupts end-of-day wrap-up time.
What kind of equipment will my child be using?
Every camper has their own Windows laptop to work with. We also have a pool of other digital equipment and props such as webcams, headsets, microphones, green screens, samplers, digitizing pads, art supplies, and LEGO components. We use a wide range of kid-friendly software for graphics, architecture, engineering, animation, photo manipulation, etc.
Can students bring their own video games or LEGO to Empow Workshop?
Students are not permitted to bring off-the-shelf video games to the Workshop. Personal LEGO collections may be brought in, but we cannot be responsible for the safety of any electronics, LEGO, or other valuables.
Where can I park my car?
Our studio is located at 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, above the Citizen’s Bank. Street parking is available on Mass. Ave, and there is also a parking lot behind Empow Studios, which can be entered off of Waltham Street. If you park in the back lot, please walk to the studio via the alley between Michelson’s Shoes and the Citizen’s Bank building. Then, turn Right on Mass. Ave, and walk up to the second doorway to enter Empow Studios through the front door.
Do you have a 3D printer?
Yes! The Empow Studios 3D printer is available for use by the public (students and parents).
Empow Studios staff will oversee any printing and use of the machine, unless the student has completed one of our 3D printing courses, and has received approval from an Empow Studios staff member to use the equipment alone.
The cost of printing is 20 cents a minute for regular colors and 25 cents a minute for glow-in-the-dark colors. For those that need help making modifications to a design, there is a $35 per hour fee. Scheduling an appointment is required to use the 3D printer, unless you are using the 3D printer during drop-in time. If you need modification help, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Is your Studio wheel chair accessible?
Yes! Empow Studios is wheel chair accessible, via an elevator located in the back of the facility. Contact the front desk at 617-395-7527 and ask for assistance using the back entrance. Please note: due to the age of the building at 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, we are grandfathered into the current bathroom layout, and our bathrooms are currently not wheelchair accessible.
After School Club:
Still have questions?
We love to talk camp and technology and kids!
Join Empow Studios Today!
We offer many types of programs, including workshops, after-school classes, birthday parties, and more. Check out our weekend clubs!
Empow Camp is a unique combination of imaginative play and sophisticated technology, where projects are completed at each student’s pace.