“Critical Thinking – The Other National Deficit”
As I was driving north on I-95 this past weekend, I saw those words written on a bumper sticker and they caught my attention. I spent the next 45 minutes of my drive pondering whether critical thinking can really be considered a national deficit. Sadly, I came to no conclusion, but I did get out of the car with a stronger sense that as a parent I need to be doing all I can to foster critical thinking in my two teenagers. As a long time educator, and now a business owner of Engineering For Kids of Central Virginia, I was also energized by the knowledge that our engineering classes and camps do provide unique opportunities for children to develop those critical thinking skills.
I sat down this morning and wrote down just a few positive attributes I’ve had the pleasure of observing children develop in our camps and classes:
- An active mind – and an active body
- Feelings of success and accomplishment
- Independence and confidence to try new things
- Social skills and teamwork
- Communication skills to share ideas and solve complex problems
- New friendships while “unplugging” from their devices
- Skills that may turn into life-long passions
- Open-minded thinking
- The ability to view perceived mistakes as the opportunity to make changes and try again
Have a fun and safe summer! Be sure to check our camp options and contact us with any questions.
Owner and educator
A few camp highlights…
Minecraft® Traveling into the Future
Different than playing Minecraft® at home, our camps will challenge the ingenuity and problem solving skills of our students as they navigate through engineering challenges in small teams to:
- Construct buildings and infrastructures within custom created Minecraft worlds
- Connect a series of islands with bridges, boats and tunnels
- Solve a 200 year old mystery and terraform the Earth
- Build a settlement on the moon
Students work through our in-house server and are never on the internet
Software Engineering with Scratch® – Space Pioneers
Embark on a fun journey to space with Scratch® coding! Students may send an astronaut to the moon or defend their moon base from space rocks. They will learn how to use Scratch® coding to create and program sprites, design backdrops and write basic scripts. They will create a new program each day and be inspired to explore the universe of programming as a Space Pioneer. Students may retrieve their games via cloud storage and continue to edit or play at home.
Hardware Engineering – Get Wired with MaKey MaKey®
Imagine designing a piano using celery or creating a custom digital training program. Now, envision playing games using just your body, a bit of wire and your own imagination! In our hardware engineering camp, students engineer their own customized game controllers using a Makey Makey® circuit board and materials that can be found in just about any kitchen. Through application of circuitry, acoustical engineering and video game design, students discover new ways to interact with technology, all while creating unique designs in a fun collaborative environment.
And Don’t Miss Girls Camp Week from August 24th-28th!
We have two summer camp locations in the Richmond area:
- Engineering For Kids Learning Center at 1586 Mountain Road, Glen Allen 23060
- Richmond Community Church at 11801 Nuckols Rd, Glen Allen 23059
*Half-Day and Full-Day camps are available at the Mountain Road location*
Please visit our website for a complete list of camps, dates, and locations in nine counties www.engineeringforkids.net/centralva