At Summer Spark day camps, your children come alive as they engage in weekly creative problem solving challenges.
With packed schedules, powerful media everywhere, and performance pressure on schools, we believe that a fundamental component of a strong foundation is missing in the lives of many children today. The ability to tackle a problem with no set solution – to think creatively and flexibly, to struggle, fail, and try again, to test, revise, and reiterate.
At Summer Spark, we strive to fill this gap. We are all about physical experiments, purposeful tinkering, messy construction. Creativity Unplugged.
Summer Spark offers weekly hands-on, creative problem solving camps from June 6th through August 12th for rising 1st – 6th graders at Zilker Elementary in south central Austin (1900 Bluebonnet Lane 78704).
The regular camp day is from 9am – 3:30pm, with the option of extended hours from 7:30am – 5:30pm.
Visit www.summerspark.com to find out more and register. Check out our reviews:
Each week at Summer Spark features a different challenge which provides the opportunity to boost the 3Cs – creative problem solving, collaboration, and confidence. Whether designing a rollercoaster for a marble or building a car from recycled materials, campers apply creativity as they innovate, collaborate with peers in search of solutions, and gain confidence as they learn from set-backs. Summer Spark days are a careful balance between individual and group activity, and time for relaxation, reflection, and play.
We understand that coordinating summer schedules can be overwhelming and we hope to make your life just a little easier by offering flexible registration and worry-free booking. You can sign up for one week and switch to another if your plans change (availability permitting) – or cancel entirely – at no cost up until May 30th, the week before camp starts. We don’t want your children to miss out on the Summer Spark experience, so go ahead and sign up today and take advantage of a full refund if your plans changes.
3C Challenges™ Expertly Designed to Ignite Potential
At Summer Spark, each week features a different challenge which provides the opportunity to boost the 3Cs – creative problem solving, collaboration, and confidence.
Whether designing a rollercoaster for a golf ball or building a rocket from recycled materials, campers apply creativity as they innovate, collaborate with peers in search of solutions, and gain confidence as they learn from set-backs.
Creative Problem Solving
Open-ended challenges with defined objectives, but infinite solutions, stimulate the imagination and spark creativity.
Each day at Summer Spark, compelling problems have campers stretching themselves and applying creativity to find solutions as they tinker and test their designs. While they may learn some interesting facts and develop new skills, the most powerful learning is not related to the content of the project, but to the process of the hands-on learning which allows them to design, build, test, fail, design, build, test, in a cycle that promotes innovation and creative problem solving.
Having everyone work on the same weekly challenge provides an opportunity for collaboration as campers search for solutions and improvements. Guided by counselors, campers learn how to increase their own potential by seeking feedback from others.
Campers work on the same essential problem or goal, but with great freedom as to the approach and execution. Counselors introduce new concepts and guide children through the practice of new skills. As campers begin to experiment, counselors are supportive, but they are not the primary resource for help. Instead, they encourage campers to seek out peers for feedback after coaching them in how to give and receive critique.
Taking an idea and bringing it to fruition with one’s own hands is a powerful experience and one that can lead to taking on greater and greater challenges, creating a pattern of success and building self-confidence.
Not every attempt is successful, so an important part of this process is developing a new relationship with failure. Through hands-on experimentation, campers learn that failure is part of the creative process and not a sign of personal inadequacy or an indication that something is too difficult. Failure comes to be seen simply as information about one method or route that does not work. This mindset allows a child’s innate curiosity to thrive and confidence to remain intact through missteps and set-backs.