David Campbell is sympathetic to parents whose children want to play video games all summer. A science teacher at NOVA Middle School, Campbell runs a video game design course during the summer in NOVA’s Discoveries Camp. “Our motto is, we don’t just play video games, we make them,” he says. Along the way, kids learn basic coding, work on problem solving, and exercise their creativity.
That’s the heart of the Discoveries Camp philosophy: engage with kids around their interests, give them hands-on activities, and get them learning in a fun environment. Popular camp offerings have explored technology (Video Game Design, Robotics), art (Papermaking, Mosaics, Animation), science (Biology, Geology), games (Chess, Board Game Design), and life skills (Sewing, Cooking). Small class sizes ensure that children get individual attention from their instructors.
It’s that connection with teachers that stands out for Stuart, now an 8th grader at NOVA, about his time at Discoveries Camp. “I really enjoyed their teaching styles,” he recalls. “I liked how they were interactive and engaged with the students.” Anne Weldon, who teaches Spanish at NOVA and often runs a Latin American Cooking class during Discoveries Camp, agrees that the opportunity to have meaningful connections with students is special. “It’s small groups of people being really engaged in activities,” she says, perfectly summing up the Discoveries Camp experience.
To learn more about Discoveries Camp, visit our webpage at novaschool.org/resources/discoveries-camp. The summer 2020 schedule and online registration form will be posted in March.