The Science and Multimedia camp of July 2015 was an exciting time here at the hub and though the schools were on their summer holidays, we here at the learning hub put on, in July, for the local children, two exciting, educational and fun-packed weeks of Summer Camps. The camp was brimming with exciting workshops to inspire intrigue and to educate in a most enjoyable way.
The days were planned out for two hours of activities at 10 with an hour for lunch at 12 and then two more hours of activities in the afternoon; finishing up around 3. The first week played out as follows.
Day 1 saw the children treated to an Astronomy Workshop. This began with a brief introduction to the solar system in the form of a powerpoint presentation, before some experiments in which the children made their own rockets with household items. We, at the Hub, feel like exciting workshops not only captivate the children in the short term but also may even kindle a lifelong ambition to take up Science in the long term. After that came Story Hub, which gave the group their basis for the animation and scene making part of the camp. This was a collective brainstorm in which the children imagined a story from scratch and gave their characters attributes, personality and appearance. This can be a great way to involve all the children in a group project, which also allows them to socialize in a constructive environment, and also to stimulate their creativity. The final event of the day was a big one. The children took to the Art Hub to follow up on their recently improved astronomy knowledge and make their own scaled solar system models by painting in great detail various sized Styrofoam balls. The results were tremendous: a truly celestial undertaking!
Day 2 began with a light workshop in the Science Hub. In this the children studied the science of light with engaging experiments. They learned about the effects of ultraviolet light and learned how our eyes interpreted light and then how our brains then process this light information into an image. Also we had a camera obscura lens set up in one of the rooms which amazed and astonished the children. The light workshop taught the children that even the simplest thing, something that we all take for granted has a complex scientific and totally fascinating explanation! After this came the Photography workshop. The workshop was divided in two. In the first half the children were given cameras and were tasked with taking photos. The goal was to get a foreground image, a middle ground image and a background image, which they would then edit in the next half of the workshop. Using G.I.M.P, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, they superimposed the three images to create one edited photo, the results were excellent! By the end of the workshop the children had learned how to take high quality pictures by varying things like exposure and contrast and also how to manipulate images which is a helpful skill in fields like graphic design, art and photography.
Day 3 continued with Scene and Set-making. The children followed up on their Story Hub ideas from the first day. They all worked together to make backgrounds and characters for their animation. In the afternoon, the children used these to make a short animation using Frames, a stop/start animation program. They took pictures of each individual frame and played out each scene in detail. Every scene was well over 50 frames each and were all highly comprehensive. When they were played back it ran very well as an animated piece. After this the children went to the studio to record all manner of sounds, from the narration to sound effects, and everything in between. When both these were done and amalgamated the finished product was great!
At the end of the camp children were then gifted certificates in recognition of their achievements. They had learned a wide range of skills from the camp; skills that will stay with them throughout secondary level education and beyond. All in all, both weeks of the Science & Multimedia Summer camp were a tremendous success. Looking forward to another engaging year at the Learning Hub!