Open House!

Summer Academy Open House is a show we really should take on the road!

Families viewed not only their own children’s fantastic work, but also had opportunities to play games, watch a live musical, view animated movies, eat pizza, throw clay on a potter’s wheel, and so much more.

In the class Incredible Machines, Devices, and Gizmos, Sheridan and Jim listened to their son, Henry, as he explained his baseball-themed pinball machine while he played it.

Incredible Machines was the third class Henry has taken at SA. “It’s a lot more fun,” he said. “I like that we get to do a lot of stuff on our own.”

Sheridan and Jim appreciate Summer Academy for the opportunity it gives Henry to engage and learn with other high-performing students. “He needs the challenge in a classroom that he doesn’t always get,” Sheridan said. She said teachers at Summer Academy recognize the students’ needs and accommodate their creativity.

Jim said that if he had gone to SA as a child, he would have gravitated toward the tech classes, like Lego Robotics. “Even as a kid, I made robot kits,” he said. (I say this every year, but we really should have an adult version of Summer Academy, don’t you think? What class would you take?)

Kai demonstrated his complex marble run roller coaster to Open House visitors. His contraption required two differently weighted marbles, a loopty-loop spiral, paper funnels and cups, switchbacks, tubes, and a tunnel through the middle.

“It was really fun,” Kai said of the class Incredible Machines. “We didn’t have certain requirements. They let us do what we wanted. I liked the freedom in that.”

Kai’s mother, Wendy, liked that Kai had the freedom to express his creativity and to work hard on a product. “He doesn’t like camps where you don’t do anything,” she said. She was also impressed when she witnessed students in the class collaborating and helping each other.

Aldous, a first-time SA student this year, took the class Rock World. “I think it was great,” said mom, Emily. “He talked about it every day. He was so excited!”

At Design Studio, Samantha (or Sam) pointed out her artwork to her parents, Brandon and Jill. Brandon said he likes that SA students focus on one particular skill and get a choice of class. “It’s a great opportunity to learn and grow,” he said.

Jill appreciates that SA is “a chance to do something different than what’s normally offered in school.”

Zaley also showed her family her projects from Design Studio.

Shelli was impressed by her daughter’s work. “I particularly like the chance they have to delve deeper into something that’s of interest to them,” she said about Summer Academy.

Zaley’s father, Jeff, appreciated the opportunity for his daughters to explore potential careers, like graphic design or business. Zaley’s younger sister, Vienna, took the class Pay to the Order Of this year. “It was a real-life experience,” Jeff said, with second graders learning what a paycheck looks like and how to run a business.

Vienna described her favorite activity – Cookie Battles – in which students learned to make decisions about purchases and to stay within a budget.

In Video Games for Good, Marley’s mom, Wendy, learned about how Marley created a video game through computer coding.

“He’s very creative and (SA) is a very unique experience,” she said. Wendy likes that the classes challenge her son and “teach him balance and how to keep learning through the summer.”

She and Marley have already decided on next summer’s class. “Next year, he’ll be back to cook!” Wendy said.

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