Week 5 Recap

The Hommocks Maker Exhibition is up! We were all nervous about bringing the work over to The Westchester Children’s Museum. Would any structures break on the way? Would pieces get lost? Would we have enough time to set up? We had only two hours to create an installation of over 70 pieces of Hommocks Maker projects. It was enough to give each of the three of us a sleepless night before we met at camp this morning!

Westchester Childrens Museum

The bus picked us up from Hommocks promptly at 8:30am and by 9:00 (yes, that is how long it took to load everything) we were on our way. We reached the museum only to find out that after unloading we still had to walk 1/8 of a mile back and forth to retrieve all the work from the bus and bring it inside the museum. We realized that it would be best if we split up the division of labor so Jonas and Michelle did most of the walking and retrieving while Mimi, Joey, Christina & Vicky began creating the installation. They needed to create streets for our Hommocks Maker community.

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As soon as the streets were created and the projects were unloaded and brought into the museum, our stress levels decreased significantly! We were going to make it on time. And from that point on we worked together to put up street signs, discuss where structures should be, create a harbor for Mamaroneck, and pull together a “Main Street” based on Mamaroneck Avenue. It was exhilarating to watch our community come to life.

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All in all it has been a special day of set up, a fantastic week of finishing work by our students, and a wonderful way to have spent the first five weeks of our time together at COOP camp. It’s unbelievable to all of us how much we were able to accomplish in such a short time; a special shout out to our incredible students for making this happen!

 

Week 4 Recap

The fourth week of Co-op camp has always presented some challenges. Much of the energy of the first few weeks has drained, and the enthusiasm for the projects has weakened now that they are so familiar. To spark some more interest, we decided to introduce LED lights and circuits this week! After a lesson on the theoretical elements of how a circuit works, the students jumped in to creating their own to incorporate into their work. Copper taped proved tedious for many due to its lack of maneuverability, so we quickly moved over to conductive paint—it was a lifesaver! The LEDs presented some challenges while trying to create a large-scale series circuit, but the students quickly grasped the real-life implications of resistance, current, and voltage.

Tape photo 1-2

On Wednesday, we accompanied the 8th graders on a walking field trip to the harbor and boat yards to study the craftsmanship of boat making. Many students remarked that they had gained new insights on what the bottom of a boat should look like—not just a flat underside of a box!

IMG_5072 boat 2

Our final wrap-up will be the exhibition of our work at the Children’s Museum In Rye, New York Children’s Museum in Rye, New York. We are incredibly excited to have this opportunity to display our students’ work, but we are also anxious about finishing and presenting everything from the past 4 weeks! Design, aesthetics, display, problem solving, and engineering have all played a part in creating our community project!

Museum

Week 3

It’s been an incredibly busy week. Houses, buildings, soccer fields, parks, and more have sprung up everywhere in our art room. Creativity abounds here at Coop camp with enthusiasm and plenty of chaos. Special needs students have made drums and shakers and learned about Makey-Makeys. It was thrilling to see the connection students made between their hand-holding to complete the circuit and the key board they were playing.

Today we used our coffee cans to create homemade drums #stem #art #music #camp #summer #children

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A handful of students have become our “go to” students to engineer and coordinate LED lights on our cardboard community construction. Only yesterday they told us they didn’t want to come to the art room; today they want to implement sound along with the lights. Things changed swiftly after Meg brought us the battery pack and on/off switch she had made. The boys spent the entire class using series and parallel circuits to test sound makers and LED lights.

Let there be light! #stem #art #summer #camp #technology

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The 8th grade students are enthralled with the boat making construction. A number of students are experimenting for the first time with electric conductive paint.

 

Our special needs class is leading the path on documenting our community grounds behind our Host Site. 

Today we went on a nature walk in Flint Park #stem #nature #camp #summer #art

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A picture taken by one of our special needs students #flowers #plants #nature #camp #summer #art

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Welcome Back

Hey Everyone! My name is Joey Kaplan and this summer I’ll be working at the Mamaroneck UFSD Host Site. I’m currently a junior at Binghamton University studying human development and urban planning. When I’m not studying for classes, I’m usually hanging out with friends or tinkering with my car. 

Hi everyone! I’m Mimi Zimmer and I’ll also be working at the Mamaroneck UFSD Host Site. I just graduated Mamaroneck High School this past June. In the Fall I will attend Columbia University, where I plan on studying mathematics or physics. Some of my favorite things to do are playing the flute and reading. 

 

Wrapping Up

Our once hectic, busy art room has now been cleaned up, and for the most part returned to its original neat form. It’s been sentimental to pack away all of the many projects we have been working on throughout the past six weeks in preparation for the end on this year’s co-op camp. Putting away the different bits and pieces of each project has given us a chance to reflect on the challenges and successes of the program.

Coming into the program we had no idea what to expect, but the summer exceeded all of our expectations. I couldn’t be more happy with the outcome of our work together and the resulting positive experience of the students. I know that Michelle, Kenny and I hope to be back next summer learning together again with the camp. We know that with the interest of the students and the support of the community this amazing program will be able to continue in the future.

-Caroline

What an incredible experience to say the least!  This has without a doubt been the best summer work I could hope to have found.  Not once did I ever regret having to come in to Hommocks in the morning, and before we knew it, it would be Friday.  Now, it’s the end of camp.  I can definitely say I hope to be back next year.

The experience here has taught me a few things about myself. I’m not as bad with kids as I feared, teaching and working with them has almost felt natural.  We learned something new every day, and the combination of it all was self-satisfying and ultimately fun.  The kids had a blast this summer and we’re hoping to keep the momentum going by forwarding the ones who enjoyed it to the Tech Club at Hommocks throughout the school year.  For now though, it’s time to wrap up.  We leave our ever grateful shoutouts to those who made Maker Corps + Hommocks Coop camp possible, and look forward to the new projects we will be able to repeat or come up with anew next summer.

-Kenny

All those weeks of planning, learning, observing and guiding – over!  Our summer camp has come to an end.   It just doesn’t seem possible that we have come to the final hours and yet here we are back in an impossibly, clean room with empty tables, no students and a spotless floor. What an experience this has been for all of us; teachers, students and interns alike.

Working alongside Caroline and Ken has been a pleasure.  They are devoted, intelligent young people with a shared, work ethic.  I am so grateful for our experiences together from planning to learning to instituting to reflecting; it has truly been a worth while journey from beginning to end.   I hope  next summer finds the three of us together again starting in May when college exams are over.  There we are sitting around one of my art tables I imagine,  drafting, planning, writing and creating new challenges and projects for our future students at Hommocks Coop Camp.

-Michelle

NYSci Field Trip

nysci

Thanks to generous funding from RADAR we had the opportunity to take the camp to NYSci this past Friday, August 2nd. As everyone was filing onto the buses, there were many questions as to why we were going to a museum. The kids were expecting a trip similar to previous years such as Sport Time, SplashDown Water Park or the Zoo. As we arrived at NYSci and the students caught a glimpse of the spaceship and mini-golf surrounding the museum, they began to understand that this was not a normal museum.

Our camp rushed into NYSci sporting our tye-dye shirts. Immediately students began to explore the downstairs area from bubble stations to DJ booths. It is amazing to see how NYSci has integrated science into each exhibit in a hands-on, exciting way. We were even able to peek in on some of the Maker Corps Members in their Makerspace.  They were really excited when they saw that they were working with 3D printers and Makey Makeys, exclaiming “We’re working on that! Hey we did that!”.  There was also an exhibit resembling our Fancy Pants project with perspectives.  If a student had themselves half concealed behind a mirror, their other half would be reflected if another student stood at a certain angle beside a mirror facing them.  Thus, when they lifted one leg, the reflected leg would also look and they would appear to be flying.  Likewise, if they lifted a half hidden book over their heads with their hidden hand, the book would look like it was flying.

After a quick lunch break we all headed to other areas of the museum to explore. One exhibit that caught everyone’s attention was the batting cage. Almost everyone in the camp lined up to try out the three different balls in the cage and determine which ball has the least resistance and therefore travels the fastest. There was also a grid-style circuit system exhibiting the blackout of 2003, which strongly resembled our laying out of copper tape to light up LEDs.  When a bit of tape was disconnected (you pressed a button to break the circuit at the museum), the lights wen out.  This parallel caught their understanding almost immediately and showed how they’ve already begun applying what we’ve taught to situations in the real world.  At the end of the day is was almost impossible to gather everyone together and deviate the attention away from the museum (Kenny couldn’t unglue himself from the Nikola Tesla exhibit), but by the time we were a mass of tye dye again, the kids thought it was an awesome field trip.