Frequently Asked Questions!

Why are you called “Empow”?

We are so glad you asked! Check out our blog post on the subject.

What technology will my child be learning?

The answer is… whatever they want! Empow is equipped with all sorts of animation supplies, software, and technology. We encourage kids to Design, code, and Build in whichever platform they are interested in. We have curriculum in Video Game Design, Animation, LEGO Robotics, Java coding, Scratch Programming, 3D printing, Video & Music Production, DJing, and more!

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!

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. There is a fair amount of screen time during the day, but some of our programs, such as robotics and stop-motion animation, have a lot of hands on parts with less computer work. If you are concerned about your child and his/her time on the computer, please make sure to bring it up with the Camp Director.

Can Campers Learn How to Code?

Yes! We offer both Scratch and Java programming in our Tech & Design Camps. Other coding fundamentals are offered in the programs below:

  • Our popular video game design software, Gamemaker, has a programming game code called GML.
  • In the Unity curriculum, which is a 3D world building software, JavaScript is used for game code programming.
  • 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. There is a form to fill out in the registration process called “special considerations” where you could explain difficulties for your child as well as proper coping mechanisms for our staff. We recommend also speaking with the Director on the first day of camp.

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 individual attention 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.

Can I visit my child in camp?

We encourage parents and friends to visit. We do ask that you arrange your visit with the Camp Director in advance. We also have a project showcase each Friday so you can see all the projects your child has been working on.

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.

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.

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.

For After School Club specific FAQs, please see our detailed Empow After School Club program FAQ list here.

Still have questions?

We love to talk camp and technology and kids!

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Empow Camp is a unique combination of imaginative play and sophisticated technology, where projects are completed at each student’s pace.

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