A day at MobileQuest STEAM camp begins with the camper being greeted by the staff of teachers and STEAM professionals. Campers join their group for a daily warm-up challenge. Today, they will be tasked with constructing a tower using spaghetti, masking tape, and marshmallows. They will have 15 minutes to work together to build the tallest tower.
A day at my house over school vacation begins with the children being greeted by me beseeching them (for the millionth time) to PLEASE NOT CLIMB ON THE BANISTER!!! Nevermind that; today I feel prepared. I spent 4 hours last night on Pinterest planning a day filled with enrichment activities. Within five minutes my carefully crafted Pinterest activities have been rejected and my children have taken it upon themselves to go through our entire pantry, spilling dry spaghetti all over the floor and eating an entire bag of marshmallows.
Once the warm-up is complete, each group will head off to their first rotation of the day. The Little Einstein group, composed of 1st and 2nd graders, will start with our coding robots Dash and Dot. They will review the lesson from yesterday before diving into today’s challenge. Groups of 3 will be given a Dash robot and take turns being the programmer, robot wrangler, and data collector.
Once the clean up is complete, I relent and turn the TV on for the first time today. My Little Einsteins spend the next two hours watching “Little Einsteins.”
After their coding session is over, these future engineers will take a break for a quick snack and drink provided by the MobileQuest staff.
After four “this is the last episode I’m letting you watch” warnings, my future couch potatoes begin to beg for snacks. How come I need to feed these children so often?
Next up, after snack time is over, it’s time to get some energy out with a physical education catapult challenge. Participants must perform various exercises to collect items including hula hoops, jump ropes, cones, lacrosse sticks and more. Then they will use their STEAM skills to build a catapult that will launch the rubber chicken across the “road.”
It is becoming clear that these children need to get some energy out. As I locate everyone’s socks, shoes, and coats, they are miraculously quiet. I peek into the room to see what has kept them so nicely occupied. Oh look — they are using their STEAM skills to build a catapult that will launch golf balls towards the television. WHERE DID THEY EVEN FIND GOLF BALLS?
Once the chicken has successfully crossed the road, it’s time for lunch and a 30 minute period of free play. Participants will play in the schoolyard with several activity options including basketball, jump rope, hula hooping, hopscotch and more.
Once I finally clean up the disaster they made in the playroom, I convince the kids to go outside. It lasts approximately 45 seconds before they trudge inside dragging mud throughout the house. I feel myself filling with deep regret at having washed the floor.
After their 30 minute lunch period, participants will begin their third rotation of the day. Now it’s time to put the A in STEAM with some Pendulum Art. This interdisciplinary activity will not only have participants learning about the forces of motion and gravity by constructing a pendulum, they will then use that pendulum to create an amazing piece of art.
Lunch lasted an hour and a half. I tried to channel June Cleaver and put together a healthy, balanced meal. Obviously, nobody ate that, so it’s mac and cheese again then. Despite the failure of lunch, I am not defeated. I am breaking out the art supplies!
The future Picassos are now finished with their masterpieces and will move on to the final rotation of the day. It’s time to channel their inner Gil Grissom. In this forensic unit, MobileQuest’s own Penelope Periodic needs help proving her dog Molecule is not the culprit digging up her neighbor’s roses.
Art was a bust. The children are digging up the neighbor’s roses.
Lastly, once the mystery of the flower thief is solved, all of our MobileQuest STEAM stars come back together to fill in their Lab notebooks with thoughts and notes about all of the adventures of the day…but the best part is that today is only Tuesday and they still have 3 more days of adventures!
Is it seriously only Tuesday? There’s not a chance I’m going to survive three more days of this.
As a part-time working mother, the decision of sending the kids to camp is often a numbers game. I calculate the cost of babysitting versus camp. I calculate the financial difference of taking the day off as opposed to paying for camp. What I often forget in my calculations is the value of both their fun and my sanity. As much as I love to envision school vacations full of outings, projects, and idyllic family togetherness, the reality is often squabbling kids, a hodgepodge of babysitting, and stress. As April vacation approaches this year, I’m now rethinking our plans: I think MobileQuest might be the right answer for the whole family.
MobileQuest’s mission is to deliver STEAM content in a fun and engaging way. Participants will be transported into the middle of a challenge where they will have to use their quick wit and skills to succeed. Interested in sending your scientist to MobileQuest April Vacation Camp? Visit www.mobilequestadventures.com for more details and to register! A week long program not your thing? We do birthday parties, after-school programs, STEAM nights, Scout meetings and much more!