The Advent School | Summer Programs
Experience The Advent School's unique engineering and design-based summer program for elementary school children.
STEM, STEAM, summer program, summer programs, elementary school, kids, engineering summer program, design summer program, engineering, design, boston, summer program boston, beacon hills, reggio, reggio emilia, reggio summer program, day camp, camp, boston camp
page,page-id-55,page-child,parent-pageid-45,page-template-default,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-9.1.2,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.11.1,vc_responsive

Dream, Design, Discover

The Advent School’s engineering and design summer program–Dream, Design, Discover–began in the summer of 2012. Working in collaboration with staff at MIT’s D-Lab, Advent teachers designed a curriculum that offered hands-on engineering and design experience for children. Our relationships with various organizations and community groups provide students opportunities to experience engineering and design in the city of Boston.

The Summer Program is open to children aged 5 to 12 (age by September 1). Children are divided into groups based on their age: Junior Designers (ages 5-6), Senior Designers (ages 7-9), and Design Leaders (ages 10-12).

Register today!

Program Goals & Curriculum

Advent’s summer program is grounded in the School’s mission:

For more than fifty years, The Advent School has stayed true to its founding vision: an urban school whose community reflects the diversity of Boston; a forward thinking curriculum that inspires and engages a child’s passion for learning; and a culture of collaboration where every child has the confidence to take action in a connected world.

We believe:
All children have the potential to be creative problem solvers and can use the design process to solve problems.

In the importance of collaboration. The design process is one that requires teamwork. Children learn how to share ideas, give and receive feedback, and work together to improve their designs.

The city is an extension of the classroom and helps children identify problems and find inspiration.

Children are citizens of a connected world. Children learn about the daily life of others and how creative, caring people can work together to solve many of the world’s problems.

We are inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach:
Natural and found materials are used to help children express and communicate ideas. Working with everyday objects allows children to discover the creative potential in all materials. Children collect, use, and reimagine objects as they work towards creating their designs.

Various media help children think through and express their ideas in multiple ways. Observational drawings encourage children to look deeply, notice details, and represent what they see. Children see their designs come to life through clay models and prototypes.

Learning is made visible through documentation. Photographs, design notebooks, drafts, and prototypes show the design process in action. Learning is shared with the community through blogs and the Design Expos.

The Summer Program curriculum focuses on the principles of engineering and design with the goal of building the child’s:

  • Love of innovation and the creative process
  • Knowledge of scientific concepts
  • Understanding of the design process
  • Skill with tools and materials
  • Ability to problem solve, persevere, and collaborate

Most importantly, we encourage students to have fun while learning in a safe and supportive environment.

2016 Summer Program

Light and Shadow: Constructing Images with Everyday Materials

June 20 – July 1

You won’t believe your eyes at Advent’s Makerspace!

Come explore the nature of light and shadow by building your own optical illusions, moving images, and shadow art. Designers will tinker with everyday materials to learn how colors, angles, and reflections shape the world we see.

Students will visit the Mugar Omni Theater at the Museum of Science (all ages) and MIT (ages 7-12) to experience the cutting edge of visual technology.

Instrument Making: Engineering Sound

July 5 – 15

In this session we will construct and connect simple machines to create audio kinetic sculptures! Designers will investigate how found and recycled objects can be transformed into musical instruments. Design Leaders will work with Advent faculty to create mini-lessons to teach Junior Designers how to make games that produce sound.

Trips into the community, including daily outdoor play and museum visits, extend learning and emphasize the impact innovation can have on the world.

Kinetic Structures: Simple to Complex

July 18 – 29

What resets the pins at a bowling alley? What makes a rollercoaster go? Look closely and you’ll see that moving structures are everywhere!

This program explores how kinetic structures work. Designers begin by building and playing with simple machines in order to learn basic scientific principles like motion, gravity, and force. Designers will connect their simple machines to build large, interactive kinetic structures.

Designers ages 7 to 12 will visit the MIT Museum to view the kinetic sculptures and all students will travel to a bowling alley. There they will see first hand how pins are reset and how bowling balls are returned. And, of course, bowl!

Sample Schedule

Teachers are encouraged to design a daily schedule that best meets the needs and interests of the students, as well as the goals of the summer program.

Every two days during the session, a blog entry is posted for families to read and view pictures related to the day’s activities. On the last Friday of each session, we host a Design Expo for the children to share their designs with their families and friends.


8:30-9:00 a.m. Arrival at 99 West Cedar St.
Morning question/provocation, free exploration time, mini-design challenge

9:30 a.m. Morning meeting

10:00 a.m. Snack

10:30 a.m. Recess
Option to continue with project/activity and have longer recess at lunch

11:00 a.m. Project/activity

12:00 pm. Lunch
Eat in classrooms or picnic lunch at playground

1:00 p.m. Design challenge/skill building

2:30 p.m. Closing meeting
Pack up and walk to 15 Brimmer St. for dismissal

3:15 p.m. Snack

3:30 p.m. Recess
Weather permitting

4:00-4:15 p.m. Dismissal at 15 Brimmer St.