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Summer Camp 2020

If you are looking for a summer filled with design thinking, coding, math and fun for your child, look no further than Baker’s project-based learning environment. Expert technicians and educators will lead these collaborative sessions designed with clear outcomes so your child can end the week having completed their projects. Each day includes live instruction via Zoom, access to office hours for individual attention, a movement break and collaboration with peers! We will have Chromebooks available for student use.

Listen to Episode 8 on Baker’s podcast, K-8 Collaborative – Design Learning and Thinking – and hear our Summer Camp Instructors, JD Pirtle and Jim Leesch talk about design thinking and specifically about their camp sessions (towards the end of the podcast).

In addition to the course descriptions and instructor bios below, you can find additional details in our FAQs.

5th-8th Grade

  • Daily schedule for rising 5th-8th graders: Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Each session runs two weeks; 4 sessions total
  • $850 per two week session; discounts available for multiple sessions (up to $525 off for all 4 sessions spanning 8 weeks)
Baker Summer Camp Design Engineering

Computational Design with p5js  – Rising 5th – 8th Grade Campers
June 22 – 25 and June 29 – July 3
9:30am to 2:30pm

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In this two week texploration, campers will learn computational design using p5js, the popular web-based version of programming language Processing. Processing was originally developed at MIT to encourage technologists to use the tools of artists and designers, and to give artists and designers new tools for creativity. Participants will learn how to do basic web design and will code dynamic artworks on their own website.
Computational Design with p5js is appropriate for both absolute beginners and intermediate coders, and will offer an age-appropriate blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities and explorations designed to get campers coding from day 1!
Campers will begin each day with a morning meeting that will introduce them to new aspects of the programming language before venturing out on their own to try out their new skills. They will collaborate with peers and instructors both online and offline to bring their projects to life. Late-morning, students will have the option to participate in a live, half-hour movement time with Baker PE teacher, Ms. Chase. At the end of each day campers will join a closing meeting where they can further develop their ideas, troubleshoot, and share their progress. Our instructors, Baker’s own Ms. Moira and technology whiz Mr. Pirtle, will be available to support campers during their daily independent work time to ensure that each camper has what they need to make their projects a success.
Tech Requirements: this camp requires participants to have access to a laptop or desktop computer, internet connectivity, and the most recent Google Chrome update. Please contact summer@bakerdemschool.org if you have questions about required technology.

Board Game Strategies, Design, and Development – Rising 5th – 8th Grade Campers
July 6 – 10 and July 13 – 17
9:30am to 2:30pm

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Campers will begin each day with a morning meeting that will introduce them to aspects of the board game world. They will learn and play modern games that illustrate fundamental design concepts in the genre like resource management, engine building, set collection, and action economies. From there, campers will be given design challenges focusing on one or two of these concepts to make short games. As the course progresses, the designs will open up and ask campers to begin the process of designing their own games from scratch. They will collaborate with peers and instructors both online and offline to create board game prototypes and bring them to life. Late-morning, students will have the option to participate in a live, half-hour movement time with one of Baker’s PE teachers, Ms. Chase. At the end of each day campers will join a closing meeting where they can further develop their ideas, troubleshoot, and share their progress. Mr. Leesch, Baker’s own board game geek, will be available to support campers during their daily independent work time to ensure that each camper has what they need to make their projects a success. Prototypes will be posted to www.boardgamegeek.com, the preeminent site for enthusiasts of this genre, for feedback from the board game playing community. This course introduces campers to concepts in probability, iteration, pattern recognition, and analysis.

Tech Requirements: this camp requires participants to have access to a laptop or desktop computer, internet connectivity, and the most recent Google Chrome update. Please contact summer@bakerdemschool.org if you have questions about required technology.

Virtual Reality Design – Rising 5th – 8th Grade Campers
July 20 – 24 and July 27  – 31
9:30am to 2:30pm

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In this two week texploration, campers will learn web design and Virtual Reality development with A-Frame and Neocities. A-Frame was developed by Mozilla, the company and foundation responsible for Firefox, to encourage students, artists, and technologists to easily create dynamic and interactive Virtual Reality environments.

Virtual Reality Design is appropriate for both absolute beginners and intermediate web designers, and will offer an age-appropriate blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities and explorations designed to get campers engaged in the world of web design from day 1! Campers will begin each day with a morning meeting that will introduce them to new aspects of web design and VR before venturing out on their own to try out their new skills. They will collaborate with peers and instructors both online and offline to bring their projects to life. Late-morning, students will have the option to participate in a live, half-hour movement time with one of Baker’s PE teachers, Ms. Chase. At the end of each day campers will join a closing meeting where they can further develop their ideas, troubleshoot, and share their progress. Our instructors, Baker’s own Ms. Moira and technology whiz JD, will be available to support campers during their daily independent work time to ensure that each camper has what they need to make their projects a success.

Tech Requirements: this camp requires participants to have access to a laptop or desktop computer, internet connectivity, and the most recent Google Chrome update. Campers will need periodic access to a smartphone. Please contact summer@bakerdemschool.org if you have questions about required technology.

Please note: this camp requires purchase of a View-Master Deluxe VR Viewer available on Amazon.

Physical Computing with Microbit – Rising 5th – 8th Grade Campers
August 3 – 7 and August 10 – 14
9:30am to 2:30pm

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In this two week texploration, campers will learn Physical Computing with Microbit. Physical Computing unites computer programming with electronics. Participants will use components including sensors and lights to create interactive projects.

Physical Computing with Microbit is appropriate for both absolute beginners and intermediate programmers, and will offer an age-appropriate blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities and explorations designed to get campers engaged in the world of web design from day 1!

Campers will begin each day with a morning meeting that will introduce them to new aspects of programming and electronics before venturing out on their own to try out their new skills. They will collaborate with peers and instructors both online and offline to bring their projects to life. Late-morning, students will have the option to participate in a live, half-hour movement time with one of Baker’s PE teachers, Ms. Chase. At the end of each day campers will join a closing meeting where they can further develop their ideas, troubleshoot, and share their progress. Our instructors, Baker’s own Ms. Moira and technology whiz JD, will be available to support campers during their daily independent work time to ensure that each camper has what they need to make their projects a success.

Tech Requirements: this camp requires participants to have access to a laptop or desktop computer, internet connectivity, and the most recent Google Chrome update. Please contact summer@bakerdemschool.org if you have questions about required technology.

Please note: this camp requires purchase of a SparkFun Inventor’s Kit for micro:bit available on the SparkFun website.

3rd-4th Grade

  • Daily schedule for rising 3rd-4th graders: Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Each course runs one week; 2 courses total $250 per week
Baker Summer Camp Design Engineering

Game Design in Scratch – Rising 3rd & 4th Grade Campers
July 6 – 10
9:30am to 12:00pm

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In this one week texploration, campers will learn to use Scratch, the wildly popular graphical programming language developed at MIT, to code working games. Building on real-world computer programming techniques, each participant will progress from the basics to a working game.

Game Design in Scratch is appropriate for both absolute beginners and intermediate Scratch users, and will offer an age-appropriate blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities and explorations designed to get campers coding from day 1!

Campers will begin each day with a morning meeting that will introduce them to new aspects of Scratch before venturing out on their own to try out their new skills. Mid-morning, students will have the option to participate in a live, half-hour movement time with one of Baker’s PE teachers, Ms. Chase. They will end each day with a closing meeting where they can collaborate to further develop their ideas, troubleshoot, and share their creations. Our instructors, Baker’s own Ms. Moira and technology whiz JD, will be available to support campers during their daily independent work time to ensure that each camper has what they need to make their coding projects a success.

Tech Requirements: this camp requires participants to have access to a laptop or desktop computer, internet connectivity, and the most recent Google Chrome update. Please contact summer@bakerdemschool.org if you have questions about required technology.

Principles of Electronics – Rising 3rd & 4th Grade Campers
July 13- 17
9:30am to 12:00pm

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In this one week tech-exploration, campers will learn how electricity works and how to safely create and complete circuits. This hands-on camp will encourage campers to design and build projects and explore exciting, real-world applications of circuits using a SnapCircuits kit.

Principles of Electronics is appropriate for both absolute beginners and intermediate electricians, and will offer an age-appropriate blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities and explorations designed to get campers working with electronics from day 1!

Campers will begin each day with a morning meeting that will introduce them to new aspects of circuitry before venturing out on their own to try out their new skills. Mid-morning, students will have the option to participate in a live, half-hour movement time with one of Baker’s PE teachers, Ms. Chase. They will end each day with a closing meeting where they can collaborate to further develop their ideas, troubleshoot, and share their creations. Our instructors, Baker’s own Ms. Moira and technology whiz JD, will be available to support campers during their daily independent work time to ensure that each camper has what they need to make their electronics projects a success.

Tech Requirements: this camp requires participants to have access to a laptop or desktop computer, internet connectivity, and the most recent Google Chrome update.

Please note: this camp requires purchase of an Elenco Snap Circuits Jr. SC-10 electronics kit available on Amazon.

Please contact summer@bakerdemschool.org if you have questions about required technology.

Camp Instructor Bios

JD Pirtle Baker Summer Camp Design Engineering Teacher

JD Pirtle

Bio

JD has been working in education, technology, and art/design for the last 15 years. He is currently the founder and principal of Depth and Light, an education, technology, and design consultancy based in Chicago. From 2013-2018, JD served as Director of Innovation at Catherine Cook School in Chicago. At Catherine Cook, JD founded the IDEA (Innovation, Design, Engineering, and Art) Program and built the IDEA Lab, a large Maker Space that serves preschool-8th grade students. He co-founded and co-directed IDEA:TE, an annual national conference which trains educators in best practices for teaching with emerging and traditional technology. Prior to Catherine Cook, JD was a research associate at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Baker Camp Instructor Design Engineering

Moira Gitau

Bio

Moira is a Baker parent and also serves as the second-grade associate teacher while earning her MAT in elementary education. She comes from 17 years of experience supporting technology at New Trier High School. From participating on the new construction design team and implementing the 1-1 iPad program to managing the helpdesk and responding to daily calls for both technical and instructional help, Moira understands technology’s place in society and our schools. A strong believer in progressive education, she knows the importance of providing meaningful experiences to our students, teaching them how to solve problems versus making products. She looks forward to helping build something great this summer with Baker Demonstration School.

Baker Camp Instructor Design Engineering

Aimee Frank

Bio

Aimee is in her third year at Baker and serves as Middle School math teacher and camp director. Prior to joining the Baker community, Aimee taught Math and Language Arts at Wilmette Junior High School and Emerson Middle School in Park Ridge. In addition, she worked as an instructor and program coordinator at Chicago Botanic Garden’s Camp CBG and Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development. Aimee’s commitment to lifelong learning is evidenced by her on-again, off-again quest for a doctoral degree in education (current dissertation idea: the benefits of co-teaching middle school mathematics) and her tendency to watch video tutorials on woodworking should she ever possess a workspace. Though she looks forward to returning to Baker to see students and campers in person, Aimee is excited to help our virtual camp come to life.

Baker Camp Instructor Design Engineering

Axel Zagal

Baker Camp Instructor Design Engineering

Rachael Chase

Bio

Rachael joined the Baker community this past year as the Middle School PE teacher and Assistant Camp Director. She studied physical and health education at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI. Growing up in the Chicagoland area but new to Evanston area she is thrilled with the outdoor activities and options. Rachael’s goal is to share her passion of movement and kindness with her students and campers, and guide them to finding their passions. She enjoys offering challenging and unique lessons and activities during the school year and during the summer to help kids become active, well-rounded humans for life. Rachael is excited for the summer adventures to get underway and for the ice cream shops to open.

Baker Camp Instructor Design Engineering

Jim Leesch

Bio

Jim Leesch is one of Baker’s Middle School Math teachers. He joined the Baker family in 2018 and has over 25 years of experience teaching math and middle school students. He has a passion for working with children and sharing his interests, ranging from math to theater to games. Jim believes that by exploring the world through play, analyzing it through math, and expressing oneself through theater, a person learns the tools to change their communities for the better.