Summer Next Gen Designers Camp 2017 

For Summer 2017, we have created two advanced project weeks for students 4th through 8th grade.  Our older students can choose freely between between our Next Gen Designers Camp and our Innovators Camp. (for example a student may take 4 weeks of Innovators camp and 2 weeks of Next Gen Designers camp).  Students who are not entering 4th grade in the Fall of 2017 are not eligible for this camp, but are welcome to register in our Innovator's Camp occurring simultaneously for kids up to age 12.


Go Cart Team Design and Innovation (June 12th, June 19th, June 26th, July 24th, July 31st, August 7th) – Kids love go carts and in this NexGen Design Camp built for 4th-8th graders, students will learn engineering design and teamwork principles as they design, build, and test a gravity-powered go-cart from scratch.  These Go-Carts at the real thing, so parents should know in advance that students must be entering fourth grade at least, as we will be using power tools, cutting and sanding wood, painting, and engineering solutions to innovate the go carts with features that student teams desire.  On Day 5 of Go Cart Design, kids will have their own Go Cart Soap Box Derby just outside Soldier Field, where they will have a chance to test their machines for stability, speed, comfort, and stopping distance to better understand their design trade-offs.  For 2017, we have added the Team Design component as solving problems on teams is a reality for engineers, and thus all participants in NexGen Design Go Carts will get a little Team Dynamics training as well. Parents should know that if your child loved building Go-Carts the first time, the experience of team design in 2017 will produce new challenges in 2017 and allow for a more elaborate finished product. 

Boat Design and Innovation (July 10th, July 17th, August 14th, August 21st) - Rivers, Lakes, and Oceans spark the creative design juices for even the most video game loving children among us. Living along the water in both Chicago and Seattle, offers students at Kids Science Labs the opportunity to engage in an engineering challenge for the ages, as our 4th-8th grade students will design real boats using real science under real engineering constraints all week and take home their innovative designs that will fit in the bathtub. Our NexGen Boat Design Camp in 2017 will feature kids using real power tools, cutting and sanding raw materials, and experimenting with buoyancy, liquid properties of materials, propulsion techniques, weatherproofing, stability, and even cabin design, as they consider the design tradeoffs that will allow each of them to design, build, innovate, and test their boats. Kids will chose from three different boat types (sailboats, fishing boats, speedboats), and design their boats from beginning to end with no kits whatsoever.  This NexGen Design Camp was made to introduce kids to the real tradeoffs in design that happen, including economics. Unlike Go-Carts Design Camp, we have tweaked these Boat Designs such that they are scaled to fit inside of your bathtub (bigger than a toy boat, but small enough for a 12yr old to carry easily).

Why are you adding these two weeks of design and project camp?  We are always tinkering and want to create new, fun, and challenging material for our students.  Parents have requested we offer a project based progressive camp for older students at KSL. In response to those requests, we have created our Next Gen Designers Camp which we will initially be offering to 4th to 8th graders.  There will be two major design projects where our students Design, Build, and Test their creations.  

Students can freely choose between our Next Gen Designers Camp and our regularly offered Innovators camp offered for the entire summer.  If the South Loop center isn't feasible for you, no problem, kids JK through 7th grade can still attend our Innovators camp.