For kids entering grades 7-12
Virtual Reality is the next exciting tech frontier! Become a VR pioneer in this NEW two week program for grades 7-12. Kids will explore best VR practices, code a game in C#, and build 3D environments with Unity Engine that can be later showcased in virtual reality. They’ll design AR apps (games, filters, tools) using Spark AR. Campers will take home a copy of their VR game and a hands-on, foundational education in a rapidly-expanding industry loaded with potential career pathways.
Prerequisites: Basic keyboard skills and ability to use a mouse; some prior text-based coding experience with Python, Java, or C#.
For kids entering grades 6-8
A NEW program for 2020, this is the ideal starting place for middle school kids exclusively who’ve always wanted to learn to code, but didn’t know where to start. Campers will embark on an exploratory journey that includes ONE day of coding with the drag-and-drop Scratch programming, TWO days of exploration in the professional scripting language of Python, and TWO days of programming a working game in Java. By week’s end, campers will have simple video games, animations, a few short Python scripts, and/or a Java “turtle” game to take home. Kids build the foundations for success with this particular technology, along with the inspiration, confidence, and enthusiasm to seek out future pathways.
Prerequisites: Basic keyboard skills and ability to use a mouse.
For kids entering grades 2-5
A NEW program for 2020, this is the ideal starting place for elementary school kids who know they want to code, but don’t know quite where to start. Campers will embark on an exploratory experience in programming: they’ll code using Scratch’s simple-to-navigate drag and drop system for THREE days, then explore the easy-to-learn basics of the professional scripting language Python for TWO days. By the end of the week, campers will produce a Scratch video game or animation and a few short Python scripts to take home. Kids build the foundations for success with this particular technology, and the inspiration, confidence, and enthusiasm to do even more!
For kids entering grades 5-8
For the first time ever, middle schoolers can focus on a “Modding Only” track within the Minecraft platform and customize their unique worlds! Campers will “mod,” or alter, existing characters and landscapes, design unique, custom armor, tools, and building blocks, and create entirely new dimensions in Minecraft using MCreator software. Then they’ll examine how their designs influenced gameplay and establish a foundation for understanding game design.
Prerequisites: Basic keyboard skills and ability to use a mouse; prior Minecraft experience.
For elementary school kids with a bit of Minecraft experience, looking for the next level of challenges and adventures. Campers will focus on investigating Minecraft’s patented Redstone circuitry, commands, and architecture. They’ll create Rube Goldberg-like mechanisms and chain reactions and design an “adventure map” with puzzles and challenges on paper and build it in MC’s creative mode, and will take home their projects. They’ll also gain a foundation for understanding how circuity and mechanisms work.
Ideal for experienced robotics middle schoolers who want to enhance and expand their hands-on engineering skills and build their own robot. Campers will learn to read schematics and assemble electronics, write a sketch in Arduino IDE, explore obstacle avoidance, line following, and IR remote control, and build a functional Smart Robot Car to take home. Kids will acquire a foundation of knowledge about robotics, programming, and engineering for use in exploring future tech pathways.
Prerequisites: Basic keyboard skills and ability to use a mouse; prior experience with block-based coding and LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3.
For kids entering grades 3-5
Calling all those fascinated by robots who want to explore how they’re built and programmed to perform functions! Campers will take their passion for robots to the next step, collaborate within a team and explore advanced robotics concepts. They’ll build an operational robot from the LEGO kit, learn to code using a simple drag-and-drop interface, and command their robots to carry out tasks and movements. Code and videos of their robot in action are theirs to take home, as well as a foundation for understanding how robotics functions in our world.
Prerequisites: Basic keyboard skills and ability to use a mouse; prior experience with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3.
For kids entering grades 4-8
This NEW program is for campers entering grades 4-8 with some coding experience who want to focus on a “Python Only” track, delving deeper into the language’s possibilities. Campers will navigate the text-based programming in IDLE, Python’s integrated development environment, and introduce scripted variables to create simulators, simple calculators, or random generators. They’ll write several short scripts and produce a Hangman-style video game to take home. Kids will build the foundations for success in coding, along with the inspiration, confidence, and focus to seek out future pathways in computer programming.
Prerequisites: Some prior coding experience recommended. Basic keyboard skills and ability to use a mouse.
This is our most popular program and the ideal starting place for elementary school age kids who want to explore a wide range of fun technology. Campers will have numerous options to explore, including Video Game Design, Digital Animation, Stop-Motion Animation, EV3 Robotics, 3D Art & Printing, 3D Architecture, Digital Audio Production, and Coding/Programming Fundamentals in Scratch and Python. Campers will create several small projects, such as a digitally-animated movie, a playable video game, or a 3D print of an original creature — all of which they can take home.
Prerequisites: None. Basic keyboard skills and ability to use a mouse are recommended.
With sessions just for middle schoolers, this program is ideal for those kids looking to explore a broad range of options, or for those who want to dive a bit deeper into two or three topics. Topics include Video Game Design, Digital Animation, Stop-Motion Animation, EV3 Robotics, 3D Art & Printing, 3D Architecture, Digital Audio Production, and Coding/Programming Fundamentals in Scratch, Python and Java. Campers will create several small to medium-sized projects, such as building and programming a robot, producing a stop-motion animated film, or designing a playable video game. Campers build the foundations for success with technology, and the inspiration, confidence, and enthusiasm to continue learning and creating!
Empow was proud to be selected as among the top five best programs for science-loving kids in Boston.
Empow was proud to be selected among the editors picks for best Massachusetts STEM programs in 2020.
Empow was asked to contribute to article helping parents find the best technology camp for their kids.
Empow was proud to have our partnership with MIT on teaching artificial intelligence to kids profiled.
For middle schoolers who love construction, blueprints and maps, designing spaces and structures, and have a budding interest in exploring the art of architecture. Kids will explore the basics of architecture by designing custom homes and buildings in the program SweetHome3D. They’ll create design files with renderings of each floor of their dream home, videos that explore each of the rooms, and digital snapshots of whatever spaces they’ve designed, building an understanding of how spacing, measurement, flow, and customization work together to establish a foundation of success in construction. Campers will take home digital copies of their designs, videos of virtual visits, and digital photos of each awesome home.
For kids with a passion for making videos or movies, this program teaches the techniques and principles of stop-motion animation and digital editing. Campers will produce a short animated movie, imagining their movie’s plot, planning the plot using a storyboard, designing characters, writing and recording dialogue, building backdrops, adding music and sound effects, and using HUE animation to bring it all together. This program supplies kids with production experience and tech skills to be independent creators. Their finished movie production can be uploaded to YouTube.
Prerequisites: Basic keyboard skills and ability to use a mouse. Some digital editing and script writing experience is recommended.
For kids entering grades 2-4
This program is ideal for kids who are excited by 3D animation and have an emerging curiosity about how digitally-created characters are produced and animated. They’ll explore the principles of digital animation and basic movie editing through planning, designing, animating, and ordering, supplying them with a foundation for exploring storytelling and visualization. Campers will complete their own, digitally-animated scenes using the easy-to-navigate program Stykz. They’ll design unique characters and storyboards, and map out their plot/action, adding background music and sound effects.
Ideal for elementary school campers with a budding interest in art & construction, design, and 3D printing, looking to explore the range of options the technology has to offer. Kids will explore Computer Aided Design, create in 3D spaces, and apply the 3D concept of Constructive Solid Geometry as they design one-of-a-kind objects in TinkerCad and Sculptris. Campers will produce several small 3D prints, which could include an original creature of their own design, name tag keychains, game pieces, or a Pokemon figure – and Empow will print campers’ 3D designs onsite for them to bring home and share with family and friends!
For kids entering grades 1-3
For early elementary kids who have a love of robots and are looking to explore the fun in building and making them run. Campers will build an operational robot from the LEGO kit and learn to command their robots to carry out tasks and movements. Videos of their robots in action are theirs to take home, as well as a foundation for understanding how robotics works.
For middle schoolers experienced in robotics and ready to explore how robots and electronics work together, campers will delve into the unique synergy between robotics and electronics, the construction of contraptions with motors and sensors, and writing code in LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 to make gadgets function. Campers will interact with Circuit Playground Express (CPX), an interactive microcontroller.
Ideally suited for new robotics campers entering grades 3-5, this program explores the design and programming of robots and gives campers an understanding of how they work. Campers will design and program robots that can drive, park, detect potential collisions, and follow coded paths. They’ll take a deep dive into the LEGO Education Spike Prime platform, and code using Scratch 3.0. Campers will absorb engineering concepts like friction, traction, drive train, and center of gravity. Kids will learn how code works and develop logical thinking skills and technology literacy. At the end of the week, campers will take home the code and a video of their projects in action!
For kids entering grades 2-5 or 6-8
One of our most popular programs – and it isn’t just for video gamers – it’s for explorers, designers, and builders, too! Geared toward elementary and middle schoolers, kids will explore the basics of art, architecture, animation, and the patented Redstone circuitry on Minecraft’s Education Edition platform. Campers will build their own Minecraft world, collaborate on a friend’s world, create animated characters, and take home digital files so that they can keep exploring their world after camp has ended. They’ll also gain an understanding of how one of the most popular platforms in the world works.
For middle schoolers who have graduated from the exploration phase of Minecraft and are ready to dive deeper into the customization functions of the game. Campers will examine Minecraft’s patented Redstone circuitry, command blocks, and modding tracks, and create new sprites using MCreator software. They’ll produce Rube Goldberg-like mechanisms and chain reactions, as well as design and build a detailed “adventure map,” complete with puzzles and challenges, in MC’s creative mode, and will take home their projects.
So, you think you want to design and script video game adventures? This NEW program for 2020 is ideal for campers entering grades 4-8 with a solid coding background and passion for video games looking to take a deep dive into coding structure. They’ll begin their dive by modifying existing platformer video games, then accelerate to building a 2D video game from scratch using Pygame, Python’s library of computer graphics and sound effects. Campers will learn code structure by tinkering with alternate physics and designs in games, integrate new features into their worlds, and produce a playable PyGame project to take home. They’ll build upon and enhance their coding fundamentals, along with the confidence and knowledge to seek out future pathways in programming.
Prerequisites: Basic keyboard skills and ability to use a mouse; prior Python 101 or equivalent experience.
This program is best suited for campers entering grades 4-8 with a solid coding background and passion for video games who are looking to take a deep dive into the Java coding language. They’ll dive head first into the Greenfoot integrated development environment platform and learn to code in Java, developing an understanding of how programming concepts can be easily transportable to other computer languages. Campers will absorb ideas about syntax, code structure, and object-oriented programming and, by week’s end, produce a 2D simulation or interactive playable video game to take home! Kids will build the foundations for success in coding, along with the inspiration, confidence, and focus to seek out future pathways in computer programming.
For girls entering grades 2-5
Girls get to explore technology in a STEM environment all their own! For elementary school girls who want to explore a wide range of fun technology, find out what options are out there, and begin to realize their areas of greatest passion, they’ll embark on an exploratory experience in a wide range of fields, including Video Game Design, Digital Animation, Stop Motion Animation, EV3 Robotics, 3D Modeling & Printing, 3D Architecture, Digital Audio Production, and Coding/Programming Fundamentals in Scratch and Python. Campers will create several small projects, such as a digitally-animated movie, a playable video game, or a 3D print of an original creature to take home. Girls will build the foundations for success with technology, along with the inspiration, confidence, and enthusiasm to do even more!
For girls entering grades 6-8
For the first time, an exclusive, dynamic Girls STEM environment, just for middle schoolers! This program is ideal for girls with an interest in technology, looking to explore a broader range of options, or for girls who have a budding interest in specific kinds of technology. They’ll embark on an exploratory experience, with fun and challenging project options in Video Game Design, Digital Animation, Stop Motion Animation, EV3 Robotics, 3D Modeling & Printing, 3D Architecture, Digital Audio Production, and Coding/Programming Fundamentals in Scratch, Python, and Java. Campers build the foundations for success with technology, along with the inspiration, confidence, and enthusiasm to seek out future pathways!
Ideal for kids in grades 2-5 with a passion for not just playing video games, but for the “how-to” and “behind-the-scenes” of it all, this NEW program gets kids in on on the ground floor of video game creation by exploring the simple, logic-based interface of Flowlab to start building their own playable game world–with no coding required–and absorb ideas about design, editing sprites, and concept development — while having lots of interactive fun. Campers will build simple video games step-by-step, experimenting with specific tasks and movements, and sharing gameplay with their peers, exploring design, problem-solving, and trial/error concepts along the way. All games will be stored online, so campers can gain access after camp ends!
Calling all middle schoolers looking to expand on their game-making skills and ready to begin the process of coding video games! Kids will experiment with animated sprites and multiple stage construction, and plan, design, and code their own playable 2D video game utilizing the logic-based interface of Flowlab. This unique and focused deep dive into video game development runs for TWO weeks. Campers will produce their own fully-realized video game and a digital copy to take home and continue playing, while building the foundations for success in collaboration and technology, along with the inspiration, confidence, and enthusiasm to continue creating.
Prerequisites: Basic keyboard skills and ability to use a mouse; some prior video game design experience.
Empow was proud to be highlighted as a partner in Boston public schools’ efforts to boost student academic achievement.
My son does a various summer camps and this one is always his favorite! He was really happy with his project and was able to learn new programs. Eric is a fantastic camp director: he is really patient, understanding and has a genuine interest in connecting with and supporting the kids. Thanks!
–Maureen in Concord
I had two boys at your camp. One focused on robotics and the other on music. They both had great fun and learned too!
– Parent in Belmont
My son attended this week, and the entire staff was great… He was really happy to go – never something we take for granted!… Celebrate yourselves! You deserve it!
-Steve in Needham
Learning game design and robotics at Empow really encouraged my creativity, and taught me that creativity and science could be done together. It opened up paths and college and my career that I didn’t know existed. Thanks!
– Camper Alumni
Thank you and your outstanding and creative staff for such a wonderful experience! My son couldn’t wait to get there in the morning and never wanted to leave.
–Megan in Newton
If I could come here all the time, I definitely would!
My child had a phenomenal experience! He RAN intro camp everyday and did not stop talking about it for the entire night upon his return home. We were so pleased to find a program where the instructors were fun, engaging and supportive, and where each child was able to work at his own level and to really be challenged. I can’t believe how much got accomplished in one week!
–Donna in Belmont
My daughter thought your program is one of the best she has ever been in.
– Westborough parent
For students who have mastered Scratch, Python is a great first step into professional-grade, text-based programming languages. Python is both widely used and, we believe, the most accessible, user-friendly and intuitive text-based program. Students will learn to apply the programming concepts they learned in Scratch using Python’s syntax. More advanced students will tackle more complicated challenges including variables, arrays and methods for efficient algorithm design.
For students excited about making their own movie or inspired by digitally animated movies like Toy Story, Minions and Frozen, this is a great place to start. Using Stykz – a program accessible to beginners – every student will design unique characters, storyboard a scene, map out the action, and create a complete digitally-animated movie. More advanced students can produce longer scenes with background music and sound effects. All students can choose to upload their movie to YouTube when they’re done!
TinkerCad is brought to us by Autodesk, the industry leader in 3D design and engineering software, as an easy and intuitive first entry-point. Students will engineer 3D objects which can be printed on a 3D printer and learn the important 3D concept of Constructive Solid Geometry.
This is the ideal starting place for kids curious about coding, kids with a little coding experience, and kids who have learned Scratch at school but have not yet mastered its most advanced capabilities. Students will use this accessible, block-based programming language to make a video game or a short animated scene, and learn basic techniques common to all programming including loops, conditionals and events.
Did you know that you can take a sphere of virtual clay and shape it into whatever you want? The program we use, Sculptris, was designed to be the ideal first step for those new to the world of digital sculpting. Students’ finished projects can be imported into digital animation programs or printed on a 3D printer!
Campers of any skill level can use our custom Minecraft worlds to learn concepts in electrical engineering, computer science, and 3D modeling. We start with architecture and pixel art, and then guide the more experienced campers through the secrets of Redstone and Command Blocks. The expert campers can explore modding, learning to code in a drag-&-drop environment.
Experience: Just a curiosity or love of Minecraft
Location: Acton, MA
Grades: 2 – 3
Dates: June 29 – July 3
Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Course Status: Open