Space Week at Flex One Virtual Summer Camp: Lessons Learned
Space Week at Flex One Camp Reimagined was a week that was – at the risk of sounding cheesy – “out of this world.”
All the right ingredients came together to make the week a success: Rockstar instructors, excited kids, incredible guests, and a list of activities that nurtured curious minds and a love of learning. And we at Flex ONE witnessed, firsthand, how serious learning in many areas can take place in the comfort of home.
And the response from the kids? “My daughter absolutely loved it,” said Linda Fegler, parent of Olivia, one of the virtual campers. “She was looking forward to Space Week and couldn’t wait for it to start. And, now she wants to sign up for another camp!”
Here’s just a snapshot of what everyone experienced during Space Week:
Campers talked about constellations and created marshmallow models of them. They smashed a rock to mimic how craters are formed on the Moon. They studied photos of galaxies and used paint, glitter and cotton balls to create the look of swirling colors and waves seen in photos of galaxies in their own “galaxy jars.”
Following the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab’s Lunar Landing Challenge for youth, campers created paper cup landers that they could drop 3 feet without spilling their LEGO astronauts. The kids had fun designing their landers while thinking through ways to protect their “astronauts.”
Talking with Real Space Explorers
Campers got to meet and ask questions of USAF Lt. Col. Paul Kruppenbacher, who worked in NASA’s Apollo missions, and Andrew Irby, the Life Support Systems Engineer for SpaceX who worked on the recent launch of two astronauts aboard the Dragon 2. Campers learned how to prepare questions and ask them, and even showed off their lunar landers to their special guests. It was an experience the kids will remember for a lifetime.
Early in the week, campers were already adept at the “etiquette” of virtual learning – They learned how to mute their video, raise their hands (in the video interface), and wait their turn to contribute or ask questions. If you’ve been on video conferences for work lately, you know that even some adults haven’t mastered these skills!
At Flex ONE, we already know that we have “rockstar” instructors, and Space Week underscored that, as Ms. Eileen’s well-prepared curriculum and activities kept campers excited and engaged. “We know that great instructors can make the virtual camp experience enjoyable, because they know how to interact with the camera and keep kids interested,” says Flex ONE CEO Joshua Chernikoff. “The virtual camp experience is very different from an in-person one, so the wrong instructor can turn it into something a child dreads. We could see that our Space Week campers were having a fun learning experience.”
Former district school superintendent Brian Osborne says that this is what kids need, especially right now.
“This spring, kids saw their worlds upended by the pandemic. Suddenly, they were no longer in the classroom, learning with their friends. Right now, they need experiences that allow them to have fun while learning and engaging with other kids. Flex ONE Virtual Camps are providing families with that kind of experience in their own homes,” he said.
To watch a video of one of the Space Week sessions, click here: https://youtu.be/TJgkP1Mdb_s
For more information on Flex Academies ONE Summer Camp Reimagined, click here. https://www.flexone.live/summer-virtual-camp