AQs with TNT Tara- Are campers separated by age?

Welcome to another installment of AQs with TNT Tara, in which I provide detailed responses to questions I hear about Empow Camp and other Empow Studios related inquiries. Have a question about camps, classes, technology, teaching, or life, the universe and everything? Post it to our Facebook page! Today’s’ question is:

Are campers separated by age?

Empow Camp invites a wide age-range of kids, from 7 to 14 and everything in between. It’s understandable that with such a wide range, parents and kids alike are curious about how we manage those differences.

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.

The long answer is that Empow Camp is just as much about community, mentoring, and support as it is about cool tech and art. Having campers of different ages working in the same space means that they can teach and inspire each other. When a younger child sees an older camper’s stop motion animation, they see the incredible results that come from hard work and patience, and it can encourage that younger child to stick with the challenge of making their movie. Similarly, when an older camper has the opportunity to help a younger child something new, that older child feels valued in being able to help others and share their knowledge.

Of course, not all older students are interested in sharing what they know with younger children, some older campers just want to focus on their work. And not all younger campers are comfortable being helped by older kids. And that’s fine too (though most often campers that are hesitant to help or be helped by other campers quickly open up to those opportunities as they get to know each other and feel comfortable in camp). What’s most important is that everyone is treated with respect, regardless of age (or technology experience or other individual differences).

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