A week at the Workshop
Empow Workshop is not your typical computer day camp: it’s a unique combination of imaginative play and sophisticated technology made accessible to kids in grades 1 through 8. Monday morning starts with introductory activities to help create a community of support and teamwork. Instructors review the plan for the week. We play a game to get to know each other, give our students a tour of the space and equipment, discuss ground rules, and have a snack. Then we get down to business and each attendee starts to plan his or her first project. Full-day students will spend the rest of the day working on their projects with the help of instructor-led group lessons and one-on-one support.
For the rest of the week, the group goes through several stages in their projects, from planning to scripting, building, programming, shooting video, editing and adding effects, and finalizing the projects. Throughout the week, instructors will continue doing demos and mini-lessons on how to use various tools and providing one-on-one support. All individual projects are finished by the end of Thursday! Friday is a special day of games and a group project. Friday afternoon, parents are invited for the Project Showcase 1 hour before dismissal time (time varies slightly by location).
The group always takes a break from projects every 2 hours for group activities, games, and snacks. Lunch includes an hour-long recess outside (weather permitting), and each day ends with a group meeting and a game. All attendees make a movie of their project and take digital projects home on their very own USB flash drive. The week ends with the Friday Showcase of final movies played for parents and a celebration of everyone’s talents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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 a learning challenge so that we can plan for it appropriately and maximize their learning and enjoyment. Alos, please be sure to read the section on special needs in our policy.
Who is eligible?
Empow Workshop is open to children who have completed grades 1 to 8 at the time of the session.
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.
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 the Workshop?
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.
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.
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 at icamp. Personal LEGO collections may be brought in, but we cannot be responsible for the safety of any electronics, LEGO, or other valuables.