Mon09222014

Schools

Camp Galileo expands local offerings


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Summer Quest camper Eli Jarvis sands the steering wheel on his go-kart at Santa Rita School last month.

Camp Galileo, the longtime Los Altos summer camp provider, expanded its offerings this year to include incoming fifth- through eighth-graders in its Summer Quest program.

Summer Quest allows participants to pick a “major” and perform in-depth work in one topic during one-week sessions. Classes available in Los Altos include Video Game Design, Fashion Design, Go-Kart Builders, Chefology and Inventor’s Workshop.

“By fifth grade, we think kids have this ability to find their passion and go deep on something and experiment in one field, so we offer this wide range of options from the arts to the tech to the builders and makers,” said Jessica Ellis, lead curriculum designer for Camp Galileo programs.

Camp Galileo for younger students, a Los Altos mainstay for many years, combines art, science and outdoor activities.

Mentors and the small, team-oriented classes aim to inspire campers to pursue their passions, organizers said, creating “burgeoning visionaries” in the process.

In the Video Game Design class, students spend the week learning how to create a video game with challenges and levels. The Fashion Design class exposes students to the basics and introduces skills such as altering garments to match students’ unique styles. Students in the Go-Kart Builders class construct go-karts, customizing their vehicles based on their tastes and what they think would enhance their speed.

Kim Marcis, Los Altos camp director, said she really enjoys the quality of the curriculum.

“We develop innovators that can envision and create a better world,” she said. “So through our curriculum we are teaching a mindset, teaching a process to be creative and be visionary – basically have an idea and really go with it.”

Marcis added that the Summer Quest and Camp Galileo experiences allow students to learn differently.

“I have two kids, and when I think about what kind of values I want to instill in them, I want them to believe that their ideas are worthwhile and worth pursuing,” she said. “This type of thinking is not as encouraged in a classic classroom setting. That is why I think having this camp experience is so valuable.”

A recent tour of Summer Quest showed students engaged in variety of activities, from selecting steering wheels for their go-karts to altering clothing. Each class boasted instructors trained to help campers realize their personal visions and boost their decision-making skills.

Galileo Learning, an Oakland-based company that operates summer enrichment camps throughout the Bay Area, designs programs to emphasize a hands-on curriculum that promotes creativity, innovation and teamwork, according to organizers.

Using the Galileo Innovation Approach, camp organizers said, the programs teach children to innovate without fear of failing, building their creative confidence through a curriculum that complements school-year academics and “delivers all the fun” of summer camp. Offerings were developed in collaboration with the Chabot Space & Science Center, the de Young Museum, Klutz, The Tech Museum and the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center.

For more information, visit galileo-learning.com.


Camp Galileo - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/ Los Altos Town Crier

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