Cost and Registration

We are only accepting 10 students each week. We recommend signing up for at least 2 weeks so that students have a chance to use their learning to build more sophisticated models. Cost of 1 week = $300/student. Cost of 2 weeks = $500/student.

To reserve your spot, please fill out this form.

Parent Handbook

Waivers

Why

Children are natural explorers, builders, and inventors. They are curious about how the world works and love to get their hands dirty attempting to find out.

The camp will channel this curiosity through carefully designed exploration that will encourage children to develop the lifelong skills of persistence and courage. The formal school curriculum and environment is not geared towards developing a “growth mindset” . Students are not encouraged to come back repeatedly to a problem to develop expertise. For instance, students are graded on a test and then the class moves onto the next topic. Students are rarely given the message that they can keep submitting responses and ideas and improving over time.

Fields that do support persistence, courage and mastery are pursuits such as music, sports and games that exist outside the school environment. When a child begins learning how to play an instrument or a sport, the mutual understanding is that mastery will take thousands of hours, a lot of persistence and courage. Our belief is that academic learning experiences can benefit from the same philosophies that make music, arts and sports so rewarding. The camp will be based on the following tenets:

How

Schedule for everyday (doesn’t include breaks and quiet reading time)

  • Head out for a walk. Each child chooses her own “sit spot” and quietly observes changes in the spot every day.
  • Direct instruction (with hands-on demos) on a topic from the list below
  • Children work in teams on a guided project. As part of this project, children pick a question they have and then work towards finding an answer (over the week)
  • Presentation of project at the end of the week (parents are welcome to attend).

Click here for more details about the camp curriculum, Iridescent and the instructors.

Topics of exploration

  • Trees – How do trees pump nutrients so high? (a Redwood tree is as tall as almost 120 3 year olds standing on top of each other :)
  • Birds – Why do different birds have different wing shapes?
  • Reptiles – How do lizards communicate with each other?
  • Woodpeckers – Why don’t woodpeckers get concussions? (They slam their beaks into the wood with a 1000 g force. Air Force tests showed that pilots can survive a max force of 45 g)
  • Exploring temperature changes in different areas of the forest
  • Use of instruments such as microscopes, hydrophones to listen to sounds underwater, magnifying glasses, anemometer (measure air speed) and thermometers.
  • Mapping

Learning from peers and experts Students will work in teams of mixed age groups so that younger children can learn from the older ones. Older children deepen their understanding of a concept or skill by teaching and mentoring younger ones.

A key part of the camp will also include observing and learning from an expert animal roboticist and engineer, Ian Ingram. Ian will build a robot during the last two weeks of the camp and children will be able to provide ideas, feedback to the design as well as test and troubleshoot.

Ian’s resume.

Where

  • July 8, 2013 – August 2, 2013 (Mon – Fri) from 9:00 A.M. to 2 P.M.
  • Werder Shelter in Huddart Park, Woodside, San Mateo County, CA

Who

Instructor: Tara Valentine is a Montessori teacher with 14 years of teaching experience. She has a M.A in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with language arts specialization from Rutgers University. (Resume)

Co-Instructor: Tara Chklovski has a degree in Physics and a M.S in Aerospace Engineer. She is the Founder and CEO of Iridescent, a global science education non-profit. She is also a faculty member at the University of Southern California. (Resume)

Expert Roboticist: Ian Ingram will create an animal robot in the last two weeks of the camp. Students will be able to observe, provide ideas, work with the prototypes, help collect data, troubleshoot and operate the robot. Ian has a B.S and M.S in Ocean Engineering from MIT and a M.F.A from Carnegie Mellon. Resume. Website.

Curriculum: The curriculum has been developed and extensively tested by Iridescent, a science education non-profit. Iridescent has been in operation for 7 years.

Iridescent’s model involves working closely with engineers and scientists to develop open-ended design projects that they then teach to children and their families. Iridescent operates in Los Angeles, New York City, Bay Area, Boston and Chicago and has helped more than 400 engineers teach more than 16,000 children and parents. The engineers have developed more than 175 hands on projects ranging from working tupperware heart models to running Basilisk Lizard models (made from popsicle sticks).

Learn more about the impact of Iridescent’s programs

Start learning and designing today using our online CuriosityMachine curriculum.

Iridescent’s phone apps, videos and books

Cost and Registration

We are only accepting 10 students each week. We recommend signing up for at least 2 weeks so that students have a chance to use their learning to build more sophisticated models. Cost of 1 week = $300/student. Cost of 2 weeks = $500/student.

To reserve your spot, please fill out this form.

Parent Handbook

Waivers

Iridescent is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. All program fees will go towards materials, documentation and dissemination of the curriculum.

If you have any questions, contact Tara@IridescentLearning.org