Science Explorations (7-9)

What are the simplest creatures considered alive? Those invisible things hiding in the bread we eat, in the soil beneath our feet, even in our stomachs? That’s right, bacteria! But what, exactly, are bacteria? How do they work? How do scientists even look for things you can’t see or, sometimes, smell? In our science lab for young learners, students will enter the worlds of biology (fall trimester), chemistry (winter) and biochemistry (spring). Next to bacteria, they will explore acid-based chemistry, electro-chemistry, and try some cool experiments involving chemical reactions and their classifications. Students will run their own experiments, analyze their results and learn what it’s like to be a scientist. No prior scientific knowledge required — just bring a sense of curiosity and a desire to explore scientific phenomena! Sessions will be capped at 6 students. Instructor: Michael Hirsch, Acera Science Lab Manager, former biotech scientist and AP science teacher

Creative Computing Club

Learn or improve your Scratch skills. Move beyond Scratch to learn about other programs & possibilities as we explore not just what you can do with coding on a screen, but how information processing works in the physical word. Use Arduino boards, MaKey MaKey kits and other devices to connect your screen ideas and creations to real things in your environment. Students will work alone or in groups, based on their interests, with introductions to new programs or technologies every week, allowing them to expand their range and familiarity with new tools. Instructors: Alisha Panjwani, Acera SEEDS StudioLab Founder and MIT Media Lab alum, and Danny Fain, STEM Teacher, software developer and game designer

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Model UN and Political Science Club  (Middle School Students Only)
Explore the big challenges of our time and open up your mind as an emerging world citizen.  Engage in deep discussions about current events. Get exposure to primary sources and formative ideas in the political science, governmental, historical and philosophical landscape.  Through the year, participate in Model UN conferences in which you take on the perspective and voice of different countries, focusing on current issues. Through this experience, come to understand historical perspectives on the relationships between nations, their different beliefs and viewpoints, and broaden your perspective on the world. Develop your communication, writing and leadership skills through the Model UN Conference experience. Class will involve invitation to participate in conferences during approx. 3 weekends throughout the school year. Instructor: Robyn Deakins, Acera Cross Classroom and Math Teacher

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Games, Arts & Discovery

Are you eager to explore our nature-based adventure playground, and engage both your body and your mind as you create theaters and forts, tie new platforms into the trees or make a new swing using ropes and branches? Do you like to take all the blocks and board game pieces and other supplies you can find in your house and turn them into an airport, a city, or a land no one has ever seen before?  This program is all about free, creative play, outdoors and indoors. Based on the group and their interests, student will play games, build and create, supported and guided in their quests and explorations by our afternoon staff. (This program also serves as a drop-in option.) Instructor: Acera afternoon staff.  


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