The Advent School | Summer Program
Experience The Advent School's unique engineering and design-based summer program for elementary school children.
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Design at Advent

Engineering & Design Summer Program

Each summer, Advent’s campus is transformed into a makerspace where children become designers, tinkerers, and builders. The Advent School summer program offers three unique two-week sessions for children ages 5 through 12.

Designers begin each session by sorting through recycled materials, learning proper tool use, and engaging in the design process. Each day, the designers and faculty set out to explore the city, play games, and gather inspiration. We see Boston as an extension of the classroom. Designers take advantage of our city location by making frequent trips to the Esplanade, Boston Common, Public Garden, and other outdoor spaces. On the last Friday of each session, the designers share their creations and prototypes with friends and family at a Design Expo.

Families can access a private blog throughout the program. The link will be shared after each session begins. On the blog, we post images and entries related to the day’s activities.


Our Philosophy

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

  1. All children are creative problem solvers
  2. In the importance of collaboration
  3. Boston is an extension of the classroom, helping children identify their communities’ needs and find inspiration.

Summer 2021 Program Hours & Fees

Program Fees, Policies & Hours

Program Hours
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Program Fees
Advent families: $1,200 per child, per session
Community members: $1,350 per child, per session.

The program fee includes all program materials, guest presenters, and a t-shirt.

Program Deposit
Payment of a deposit of $200 per child per session is required and is non-refundable or transferable to another session or child. Make your check out to The Advent School.

Extended Day options
The extended day program runs from 4 – 6 p.m. and costs $20 per child, per day.

Policies & Procedures
Click the link to download of PDF that outlines the program’s policies and procedures: Design at Advent Summer Program Policies & Procedures 2021

Session Dates & Themes

Session One: Make It Massive (June 21 – July 2)

Inspired by the engineers of Science Max, designers in this session will:

EXPLORE engineering concepts like tension, compression, and stability

PUSH experiments and designs until they crumble or explode. FAILURE is the goal!

COLLABORATE and build enormous structures and pedal-powered machines!

Session Two: City in the Clouds (July 12 – July 23)

IMAGINE…Boston has taken to the clouds. What does the city look like? Do cars fly? What about people? The possibilities are endless! Designers in this session will:

INVESTIGATE renewable resources and how they influence design.

EXPLORE futuristic transportation from autonomous vehicles to flying taxis and hyper-speed subway systems.

CREATE multi-functional clothing that can lift you to new heights.

Session Three: Toys in Motion (July 26 – August 6)

Inspired by the Israeli artist Noga Elhassid and the Moving Toy Workshop, designers in this session will:

DECONSTRUCT toys to investigate what makes them work.

EXPLORE the physics behind movement.

CREATE animated toys using cranks, cams, cogs, and wind.


Junior Designers (5 and 6 years old by September 1, 2021)

Reggio-inspired, the Junior Designers program provides ample opportunities to explore scientific concepts and create new theories. Open-ended questions invite the Junior Designers to engage with materials in innovative ways, while the design process helps extend their thinking through problem-solving.

Student to staff ratio: 9:1 + three administrators and one teacher’s assistant

Senior Designers (7 to 8 years old by September 1, 2021)

The design process is a central focus for the Senior Designers. Identifying the problem, generating solutions, and exchanging feedback help build, test, and create a final prototype. Senior Designers learn proper power tool use and design with a vast array of materials.

Student to staff ratio: 10:1 + three administrators and one teacher’s assistant

Design Leaders (9 to 12 years old by September 1, 2021)

Combining the principles of design with leadership skills, the Design Leaders teach and support others on their journey through the design process. As they create, the Leaders share their knowledge with the younger designers. Trips into the community and visits from guest speakers extend the learning and provide material for new leadership opportunities.

Student to staff ratio: 10:1 + three administrators and one teacher’s assistant