FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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  • What does a typical day at Empow Camp look like?

    8:30am – 9:30am Drop-off and special activities. Kids play games and get comfortable with friends, staff, and the studio.

    9:30am – 10:00am Project Time and Camp Circle-Up. We set up the schedule for the day and let kids ease into their projects. This is a good time for anyone to ask questions or get help before we transition into the morning activity.

    10:00am – 10:30am Snack time and technology demos. We show kids student projects made at Empow to influence their creativity and get them excited to learn a new craft of their choice.

    10:30am – 12:00pm Project time. Campers work on projects at their own pace, guided by our expert staff. Kids can choose to work individually with help from staff, or work with friends in a group project. This is where kids build their robots, design video games, and film unique animations!

    12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch and outdoor time. Our staff will walk the campers over to Depot Square and have lunch outside (weather permitting). When campers stay inside, they watch some awesome videos like Mythbusters or Smarter Every Day! Only full campers are here during this hour.

    1:00pm – 3:00pm Project time. Campers continue to work on their projects and ask questions to our teachers.

    3:00pm – 3:30pm Afternoon Snack and tech demo. Each day Staff give kids an introduction to a different technology that we teach. Kids can choose to try out the demo or go back to their own tech project.

    3:00pm – 4:00pm Project time. Campers continue to work on their projects and ask questions to our teachers.

    4:00pm – 5:30pm Extended day. Campers can play games with other students, continue their projects, or try something new!

  • Who are your camp instructors?

    We pride ourselves on hiring amazing people who are equally competent in building mentor relationships, creating rich educational experiences for children, and being passionate teachers of STEM. We support our staff with rich online curriculum, more than a full-week of professional development per year plus ongoing coaching, and data-driven assessments that allow us to focus our support on each each instructor’s unique areas for improvement. All staff are CORI and SORI-checked, and each camp team includes at least one staff member with First Aid and CPR training.

  • Will my child be on the computer all day?

    Because we are a tech-based education program, screen time is definitely a part of the day. So, we make sure to take plenty of breaks during the day for demos and group activities. Lunch break also includes a longer outdoor recess with games like capture the flag. Also, a large portion of our curriculum uses a computer as a secondary tool, like building and programming robotics or shooting a mini-movie. If you are concerned about your child and his/her time on the computer, please make sure to bring it up with the Program Director.

  • Can campers learn how to code?

    Yes! Scratch is the ideal starting place. Students that love programming often progress from there to Python 101, Python 201, and Python Advanced Team which gets them into college-level coding content. Students whos are excited to focus on robotics, video game design, or Minecraft — can also learn programming as we offer camps in each of those areas that including coding instruction. See for example Minecraft Modding with Java, Roblox Coding & Game Design, or Robotics with Sphero.

    If you have more questions about which camps are best for your child, our advisors are happy to help.

  • What ages are campers at Empow?

    Empow camps are designed for children entering grades 2-8, though we do accept younger and older students on occasion.

    If you have an older or younger student, please contact us to discuss whether our program would be a good for fit for your child.

  • Are campers separated by age?

    Campers are generally separated into groups for grades 2-4 and 5-8. On occasion, we have students in the two age cohorts covering the same content in groups at opposite ends of the same large room. And, on occasion, we make individual exceptions such as allowing an advanced 4th grader into an older group.

  • My child has special needs. Can he or she attend camp?

    In general, if your child has an aid in school, they are required to bring the aid to our programs. There is a form to fill out in the registration process called “special considerations” where you should explain your child’s particular challenges, special needs, and any advice you would offer to our staff to allow them to best help your child. We will contact you if we have questions or concerns, but you should also feel free to contact the Camp Director for your camp — you will receive an introductory from them before camp — or the Senior Program Manager for your region whom you can most easily contact by calling our offices

  • Can I visit my child in camp?

    We strongly encourage parents, family, and friends to visit during our Friday Showcases during which students will receiving graduating certificates and present their STEM projects.

  • What kind of equipment will my child be using in camp?

    Every student has their own Windows laptop, mouse, and headset with microphone. Depending on which camp they are enrolled in, students may also take advantage of peripheral hardware such as green screens, samplers, digitizing pads, art supplies, and robotics kits, plus a range of software for graphics, architecture, engineering, animation, photo manipulation, etc.

  • Where can I park my car?

    Please see the location page for your particular camp location for details.

  • Are all of your camp locations wheelchair accessible?

    Please see the location page for your particular camp location for details.

  • What are your cancelation and refund policies for camp?

    We make it easy to register early, completely risk-free! Cancellations made 14 or more days or more before camp begins result in a full refund less a $10 processing fee. Changes made 14 or more days before camp begins are free. We reserve the right to cancel camps due to insufficient enrollment.

  • How is this program different from Afterschool STEM Care?

    Each Class has a clearly defined set of learning goals and learning curriculum followed by each student. Each instructor has a group of students all working on the same curriculum, and prioritizes helping each student’s progress towards these learning goals.

    By contrast, Afterschool STEM Care provides a less structured and more varied environment for students. Over the course of a typical four-hour afternoon, two hours is devoted to STEM learning and half to a mix of snack, homework help, and free (often STEM-oriented) play. During STEM-learning blocks, students work on a variety of STEM projects depending on their interests and Class projects.

    In both Classes and Extend-Based Care, instructors are fully trained, create mentor relationships with students, build each student’s passion for STEM, support each student’s unique needs, nurture each student’s social and emotional development, and benefit from Empow’s learning technology and curriculum.

  • Who are your Class instructors?

    We pride ourselves on hiring amazing people who are equally competent in building mentor relationships, creating rich educational experiences for children, and being passionate teachers of STEM. We support our staff with rich online curriculum, more than a full-week of professional development per year plus ongoing coaching, and data-driven assessments that allow us to focus our support on each each instructor’s unique areas for improvement. All staff are CORI and SORI-checked, and each Class team includes at least one staff member with First Aid and CPR training.

  • Can Class students learn how to code?

    Yes! Scratch is the ideal starting place. Students that love programming often progress from there to Python 101, Python 201, and Python Advanced Team which gets them into college-level coding content. Students whos are excited to focus on robotics, video game design, or Minecraft — can also learn programming as we offer Classes in each of those areas that including coding instruction. See for example Minecraft Modding with Java, Roblox Coding & Game Design, or Robotics with Sphero.

    If you have more questions about which classes are best for your child, our advisors are happy to help.

  • What ages are students at Empow?

    Empow Classes are designed for children entering grades 2-8, though we do accept younger and older students on occasion.

    If you have an older or younger student, please contact us to discuss whether our program would be a good for fit for your child.

  • Are Class students separated by age?

    Students are generally separated into groups for grades 2-4 and 5-8. On occasion, we have students in the two age cohorts covering the same content in groups at opposite ends of the same large room. And, on occasion, we make individual exceptions such as allowing an advanced 4th grader into an older group.

  • My child has special needs. Can he or she attend Class?

    In general, if your child has an aid in school, they are required to bring the aid to our programs. There is a form to fill out in the registration process called “special considerations” where you should explain your child’s particular challenges, special needs, and any advice you would offer to our staff to allow them to best help your child. We will contact you if we have questions or concerns, but you should also feel free to contact the Class Director for your Class — you will receive an introductory from them before your Class begins — or the Senior Program Manager for your region whom you can most easily contact by calling our offices.

  • Can I visit my child in Class?

    We strongly encourage parents, family, and friends to visit during our Showcases which occur about 75 percent though the semester. During Showcases students will receiving graduating certificates and present their STEM projects.

  • What kind of equipment will my child be using in Class?

    Every student has their own Windows laptop, mouse, and headset with microphone. Depending on which Class they are enrolled in, students may also take advantage of peripheral hardware such as green screens, samplers, digitizing pads, art supplies, and robotics kits, plus a range of software for graphics, architecture, engineering, animation, photo manipulation, etc.

  • Where can I park my car?

    Please see the location page for your particular Class location for details.

  • Are all of your camp locations wheelchair accessible?

    Please see the location page for your particular Class location for details.

  • What are your cancelation and refund policies for Classes?

    We make it easy to register early, completely risk-free! Cancellations made 14 or more days or more before the semester begins result in a full refund less a $10 processing fee. Changes made 14 or more days before the semester begins are free. During the semester, changes to other Classes offered that semester and in which space is available are free, though you may incur a fee if you switch into a higher priced Class that meets more times that Semester. We reserve the right to cancel Classes due to insufficient enrollment.

  • How is this program different from Classes?

    Each Class has a clearly defined set of learning goals and learning curriculum followed by each student. Each instructor has a group of students all working on the same curriculum, and prioritizes helping each student’s progress towards these learning goals.

    By contrast, Afterschool STEM Care provides a less structured and more varied environment for students. Over the course of a typical four-hour afternoon, two hours is devoted to STEM learning and half to a mix of snack, homework help, and free (often STEM-oriented) play. During STEM-learning blocks, students work on a variety of STEM projects depending on their interests and Class projects.

    In both Classes and Extend-Based Care, instructors are fully trained, create mentor relationships with students, build each student’s passion for STEM, support each student’s unique needs, nurture each student’s social and emotional development, and benefit from Empow’s learning technology and curriculum.

  • Why do we need to also enroll in a Class to sign-up for Afterschool STEM Care?

    Afterschool STEM Care builds on the learning your child gains during Class. During Class, students learn how to sign in and use TalentBox our proprietary learning management system and STEM curriculum. Further, during Class, students choose and begin work on their Class project. Afterschool STEM Care builds on these two core experiences — giving students time to continue their Class project and explore more STEM topics within Talentbox.

  • Can I sign up for Afterschool STEM Care on any days or just the day(s) when my child is enrolled in Class?

    Sign up for any days you want regardless of which days your student’s Class(es) meet.

  • I’m confused by the full afternoon; early afternoon; late afternoon; and early release options. Can you explain which I should be picking?

    Assume for a moment that your Child has Class on Mondays at 4pm. If you want them to have an Empow experience all Monday afternoon, you should sign up for Afterschool STEM Care’s late afternoon session which runs from the time school ends until 4pm and then again after Class ends until 7pm.

    If your Child has Class on Mondays at 5:30pm, and you want them to have an Empow experience all Monday afternoon, then enroll in Afterschool STEM Care’s early afternoon session which runs from the time school ends until 5:30pm.

    If your Child has Class on a day other than Monday and you want them to have an Empow experience all Monday afternoon, then enroll in Afterschool STEM Care’s full afternoon session which runs from the time school ends straight through until 7pm.

    Early release sessions only last about two hours and need to be combined with one of the other options (early afternoon, late afternoon or full afternoon) on that same day.

  • Who are your Afterschool STEM Care counselors?

    We pride ourselves on hiring amazing people who are equally competent in building mentor relationships, creating rich educational experiences for children, and being passionate teachers of STEM. We support our staff with rich online curriculum, more than a full-week of professional development per year, ongoing coaching, and data-driven assessments that allow us to focus our support on each each instructor’s unique areas for improvement. All staff are CORI and SORI-checked, and each Class team includes at least one staff member with First Aid and CPR training.

  • What are your cancelation and refund policies for Afterschool STEM Care?

    We make it easy to register early, completely risk-free! Cancellations made 14 or more days or more before the semester begins result in a full refund less a $10 processing fee. Changes made 14 or more days before the semester begins are free. During the semester, changes to other Afterschool STEM sessions offered that semester and in which space is available are free, though you may incur a fee if you switch into a higher priced session. We reserve the right to cancel Afterschool STEM Care sessions due to insufficient enrollment.

  • Is there a minimum number of blocks to sign up for Afterschool STEM Care?

    No! Unlike most other Afterschool Care programs, you can sign up for as few or as many blocks as you wish.

  • Do I need to sign up for the whole year?

    No! Unlike most other Afterschool Care programs, you can sign up semester by semester.

DIDN’T FIND AN ANSWER?

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