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STEM programs for kids & teens

XR digital makerspace

Web app for teaching STEM

Book a STEM enrichment class or workshop at your facility

Empow Camper at Empow Studios

Classes & Workshops can be arranged throughout eastern MA, and get booked quickly once the school year starts. Contact us to reserve your dates!

Contact us for pricing

• Classes are typically 60-90 minutes and span 8 to 13 weeks, usually held at after school programs, during school as a weekly course, or as an enrichment class at a local community center.
• Workshops are typically 2 hours and are scheduled in libraries, recreation departments, or local centers. These can be one-time, or a small series that spans multiple subjects.
• Empow Studios provides all equipment and curriculum necessary to run these programs – all we need is tables, chairs, and access to internet & electricity.

To see where we currently teach, please visit our Outreach Partner page here.

Request an Outreach program

Outreach STEM Club Programs

Girls STEAM Club

Girls… They’re awesome problem solvers, creators, designers, and collaborators. So why is it that girls claimed only 19% of all bachelor’s degrees in engineering and 18% in computer science in 2014? Our Girls STEAM Club tries to bring some balance to the world by exploring coding and engineering through projects in animation, robotics, 3D modeling, fashion, and design. Our female teachers will build the group’s confidence and knowledge with numerous projects, giving the group a taste of a wide variety of technologies. No prior experience is required. The club can feature curriculum from: LEGO Robotics, 3D Modeling & Printing, Stop-Motion & LEGO Animation, Digital Animation & Storytelling, and Digital Architectural Design.

Digital Arts & Design Club

This is the perfect club for designers, storytellers, and aspiring tech gurus. Using technology as a tool, kids can create movies, animations, music compositions, and even 3D models that we print so they can share with family and friends. This club is a great way to expose the power of technology, while retaining the art and storytelling elements kids tend to always love. No previous coding or digital art experience is required. The club can feature curriculum from; 3D Modeling & Printing, Stop-Motion & LEGO Animation, Digital Animation & Storytelling, and Electronic Music Production.

Building & Engineering Club

Building & Engineering Club is a cooperative, welcoming group where kids work together to create architecture, build circuits in Minecraft, and design interior spaces to make the home they’ve always wanted. Using creative and design-thinking elements, kids will work on individual projects or work together with friends. No previous coding or engineering experience is required. The club can feature curriculum from; Digital Architectural Design, Minecraft Redstone, and Minecraft Command Blocks.

Coding Club

Coding Club is for kids who want to try their hand at creating games, animations, and applications by learning how to code. Club members will start with fundamental concepts using Scratch, an easy-to-understand, block-based, drag & drop coding language. Kids will also be able to apply their new coding knowledge to create a playable video game they can share with friends. Once kids are familiar with the basic concepts, we introduce Java, an industry standard language used in many of the applications running on your Android device, and put the skills they’ve learned to the test in GameMaker where each student can program their own video game. No prior experience is required. The club can feature curriculum from; Video Game Design, Scratch Programming, and Java Coding.

Minecraft Club

Minecraft Club Grab a pickaxe and join your fellow Minecraftians for a class in design challenges. Empow Studios instructors teach the fundamentals of electrical engineering using Redstone, a special kind of element that mimics electricity almost perfectly. As they master their Redstone skills, we teach key concepts in programming, architecture, and pixel art, all while using teamwork and social skills. It’s the perfect blend of fun, learning, and creativity. All students must play in “Creative Mode,” and must follow our rules of respect. Internet access is required. The club can feature curriculum from any of our Minecraft Workshops as well as Minecraft Modding.

Outreach STEM Workshops & Classes

The programs below all have curriculum to support being run as either a Workshop or a Class unless otherwise noted.

Video Game Design

Go from gamer to designer. Kids love playing video games, but they have even more fun playing games designed by them and their friends! One of Empow Studios’ most popular classes, Video Game Design encompasses storytelling, pixel art, and object-oriented programming, all through a user-friendly, 2D game design platform. Our non-violence policy keeps the games cringe-free and shareable once the kids bring their games home for you to play!

Stop-Motion & LEGO Animation

With movies like The LEGO Movie, Isle of Dogs, Fantastic Mr. Fox & Frankenweenie, stop-motion animation has never been more popular. This Empow Studios class takes this medium and teaches kids how to create their own animated mini-movies through storyboarding, filming, and post-production. Materials like clay, LEGOs and paper are used to create characters, backgrounds, and props. Once characters and backgrounds are made, students use computers, webcams and animation software to bring their stories to life! After filming, students add titles, transitions, sounds, and music to make their movies complete! Movies are available to take home to share with family & friends.

Digital Animation & Storytelling

Students start with storyboarding – a perfect way to capitalize on kids’ natural storytelling skills. A great class for the younger age groups, students start by creating their characters, scenes, and stories by drawing, writing, and digitally creating their movie scripts. Students then will learn to use digital animation software, such as Stykz, to create their own short animated films. Stykz makes it easy for beginners by incorporating pre-made figures to bring their ideas to life. This class shows students how to animate step-by-step, allowing them to explore their creativity while learning about story-telling, time-management, and some principles of animation.

Scratch Computer Programming

Scratch the surface of programming with Scratch! Developed by M.I.T, the Scratch platform is one of the most engaging ways to teach kids to code. Students learn the basics of computer programming by arranging puzzle-like blocks into lines of code in a drag-&-drop graphical interface. Possible projects include video games, animations, simulators, and even role-playing games. After the class, projects are shared with family and friends, and kids can continue to work on their projects from home. Internet access desired.

LEGO® Robotics

Gear up for a class that combines engineering and programming using EV3, the newest generation of LEGO® MINDSTORMS. Empow Studios instructors teach the connection between code and physical action while kids work in pairs to create their robots. Sensors help the robot make autonomous decisions, and kids learn to code using movement, loops, switches, and more.

3D Modeling & Printing

You might have seen a 3D printer, but have you ever created your own 3D model? In this class, students develop their spatial and artistic abilities while using modern tools to create printer-ready 3D models. Kids learn modeling by starting with a base mesh, and finish with a fully realized sculpture. An Empow Studios instructor then prints 3D models at our home studio in Lexington, and brings the models back to the kids before the session is complete. For workshops, an Empow staff member will deliver the 3D models back to the library once prints are finished (~3 weeks needed for printing). Internet access desired.

Electronic Music Production

All of the music you hear today on the radio or in the movies need electronic components. Whether or not you’ve played an instrument before, this class will introduce you to becoming the audio engineer. Led by an expert Empow Studios teacher, students will work with a digital audio workstation using loops, samples, virtual instruments, and MIDI controllers, as their compositions start to come to life. After students lay down their individual tracks, they’ll learn about mixing techniques including equalizers, panning, and filters, to augment their sounds and finalize their tunes.

Digital Architectural Design

If you were to design your own home, what would it look like? How about a huge TV and gaming room, 4 car garage, or perhaps a playroom just for your pet dog! It’s up to you how you want to make your dream home, but it’s important to know some of the basics when it comes to architecture, that way your home is not only stable, but also convenient and functional. By learning Digital Architectural Design, you’ll walk through the design process of creating a floor plan, modeling rooms within a home, and creating your first home in which you can tour in 3D. Once you get the grasp of creating the necessities of a home, you’ll explore styles and construct commercial buildings that follow standard regulations like fire safety and wheelchair accessibility.

3D Video Game Design

Game systems like PS4, XBOX One, and Wii U are opening endless possibilities in 3D game design. 3D is tricky, even for adults, but kids can now create their own simple games using Unity, a leading platform in 3D game design. Kids start by learning to move around in a virtual 3D environment, then move on to designing a 3D world for their stories and programming character control. Games can be shared with friends & family for at-home beta-testing!

Coding in Java

For kids who want to try their hand at creating games, animations, and applications by writing code. Students will start with fundamental concepts using Scratch, an easy-to-understand, block-based, drag & drop coding language. Once kids are familiar with the basic concepts, we introduce Java, an industry standard language used in many of the applications running on your Android device, and in the 2nd best-selling video game of all time, Minecraft.

Outreach Minecraft Specialty Programs

Minecraft classes & workshops combine curriculum from several of these specialties of provide a custom educational experience for any age group and experience level. The Outreach Program Director will work with you to develop the right program for your students.

Minecraft Animation

You may have seen moving objects in Minecraft, which uses a combination of command blocks & Redstone. Curious how it works? In this class, we’ll apply the fundamentals of Animation inside of the game of Minecraft. You’ll learn to create a structure, and move it across coordinates, creating multiple frames to bring your structure to life. For more experienced students, we’ll introduce different types of animation, including abstract, time-lapse, or physics-based simulations.

Minecraft Architecture

Building in Minecraft is limitless and may look overwhelming, but it’s a lot easier if you create a plan. In this class, we’ll show simple ways to make your structure look more appealing through a variety of advanced techniques, like hiding your Redstone wiring behind walls and using the Fill command for an easy and quick buildout. Students will also replicate real-world architectural styles and adapt them inside of Minecraft.

Minecraft Redstone

Redstone…it’s what powers Minecraft, bringing your creations to life. In this class, we’ll teach you all about Redstone, starting with the basic fundamentals of how to affect the speed and distance of its signal. You’ll learn about logic gates, multi-system mechanisms, clocks, and more, to create your ultimate Minecraft project. It’s a combination of electrical engineering, computing, and automation all rolled into what kids love most: Minecraft!

Minecraft Command Blocks

As a builder, life is tough without command blocks. Imagine creating buildings at a snap of a finger? Luckily, with Minecraft, you can build structures and link automation through the power of Command Blocks. These computer-like blocks hold lines of commands that you will learn to boost your command vocabulary. Once you’ve mastered your basic commands, you’ll start putting it into action by creating variables, conditions, if/then statements, and more.

Minecraft Pixel Art

Because Minecraft’s elements are mostly based on simple square blocks, it’s easy to relate to how we perceive images. When we see an image on a high quality screen like a TV, computer, or tablet, we see a beautiful resolution of the image. But, if you zoom all the way in, it’ll stop at some point, and you’re left with simple squares called “pixels,” which are very similar to Minecraft blocks. In this class, you’ll work with block to create 2D and 3D structures that are based on images you know and love. For experienced students, we’ll use third party tools like Gimp, to modify images for Minecraft creations

2019 Fall Class Schedule has been released! Lots of options everyday for ages 7-17.See the class schedule
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