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Dream, Design, Discover Summer Program

06 Jan Dream, Design, Discover Summer Program

Registration for the 2018 Summer Program, Dream, Design, Discover, opens on January 16, 2018. Below is a post from last year’s blog to give you an idea of what the program is like. Interesting in signing up? Contact Evan Roman, Director of Enrichment, at for more information.

Junior Designers
The Junior Designers were introduced to circuits today by way of Snap Circuit exploration. Others explored circuits through the deconstruction of old toys. They were able to take apart a light-up drawing board and a bug catcher piece-by-piece so that they could understand the elements of its initial construction and circuit operation.

“We made a circuit that played Happy Birthday.”

“I see a circuit…there’s a metal spring because it conducts electricity.”

“We need a Philips head screwdriver.”

“There were a lot of materials that were resistors!”

Later in the day the designers learned to distinguish between conductors and resistors. They even made a “conductor detector” with Snap Circuits. The exploration involved the designers choosing different materials to close the circuits and discover whether it would conduct (and turn the light on) or resist (keep the light off). They were surprised to see some of the materials that were capable of conducting electricity!

Senior Designers

The Seniors Designers had a lot on their plate today! After arriving this morning, they went straight to the Edgerton Center at MIT for a special program. The amazing staff at MIT led our students in a LED activity that would end up yielding some beautiful light displays.

Their first challenge was to figure out how to turn the light on. When the red, blue, green LED was connected to the battery in the right way and then fastened, the students were ready to utilize the lights for their creations.

Amy, the activity leader, had the designers combine and move around the different colors to explore the possible color and shadow outcomes. They were then asked to cut out a shape that would block their lights and form a shadow. Everyone exercised their artistic skills wonderfully, but Mr. Raabe’s beach scene shadow was definitely the designers’ favorite!

Design Leaders
The Design Leaders started their day with the concept of refraction. Refraction is the phenomenon where light is bent as it passes from a fast medium to a slow medium. They experimented by placing different object in the water and shining light on them. A child noted that, “when light went in the water, the object curved.”

The theme of water exploration continued in the afternoon, when the students were presented with their design challenge. They were asked to create a light fountain using a plastic water bottle, some tape, and, of course, light. The colored tape placed on half of the water bottle was used as a background for the light to reflect off of. As the light went through the water bottle, it made the water squirting out of the bottle the color of the tape.