Category Archives: Tweens

Friends, Fun, & STEM at Boolean Girl Summer Camps

[Note: This is a sponsored guest post contributed by Ingrid Sanden, Co-Founder of Boolean Girl.]

Boolean Girl Camps have been recognized multiple times as a “Best Camp” by local and regional media outlets and, more importantly, by our campers. Here, girls entering Grades 3-8 develop new friendships and have fun as they learn about computer science and engineering in a welcoming, play-based environment with a series of unique projects and creative challenges.

Camps and classes are designed using a holistic approach to learning, with a goal to blend play and programming through hands-on instruction and sustained meaningful exposure to computer science and engineering. Our camps are part of a broad set of lessons and activities designed to encourage girls to progress from beginning coding to building electrical circuits.

While the girls learn a lot at camp, they are not just sitting at their keyboards and looking at screens. We play games, listen to music, play outside, and just be kids. Our instructors are a mix of teachers and female college students from schools like Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, and University of Maryland, and our interns are local high school students. Boolean Girl instructors and interns complete curriculum and classroom management training, as well as first aid certification and background checks.

Fridays at Boolean Girl Camps are special as we celebrate our week of STEM discovery. We have pizza, the campers show off their creative work, and we are joined by one or more Boolean Girl Ambassadors — local women working in STEM careers like electrical engineering and computer science — in the afternoon. Ambassadors share their experiences, lead a short project or challenge, talk about STEM education and careers, and of course they discuss the girls’ projects with them. Parents are always welcome to join their children for the project showcase at the end of the day.

In 2020, we are offering four different types of camps in Arlington, Fairfax, and Montgomery counties, as well as Capitol Hill. Each camp has an age or grade range recommendation, and we caution pushing kids too quickly, even if they’ve coded previously.

Not sure our camp is right for your daughter? Give our Clubhouse a try! Sponsored by Boolean Girl and Virginia Tech, the Clubhouse will meet on the fourth Saturday of each month from 1-4pm, starting January 25. Check our website for more info. And if you have questions or are just not sure, send a note to [email protected] or give us a call at 202.996.8241.  We love talking to parents and are happy to guide you to the appropriate camp for your daughter!

To learn more about our camps and register your daughter, visit the Boolean Girl website. See you this summer!


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Filed under 2020, Camp, DC, Educational, Gradeschoolers, Guest Post, Maryland, Middle Schoolers, Summer, Tweens, Virginia, Weekdays

Registration is Open for Summer Camp with Washington Waldorf School!



This post is sponsored by the Washington Waldorf School, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2020, Camp, Gradeschoolers, Maryland, Preschoolers, Schools, Summer, Teens, Tweens, Weekdays

KID Museum’s Invent the Future Challenge

Photo Credit: Edwin Remsberg Photography

[Note: As I mentioned in my recent post about Dr. Jane Goodall coming to DC, I want to highlight local ways that kids and families can take action against climate change. As Goodall suggested, this action can begin with everyday choices — what we buy, what we eat, what we wear, etc. However, this guest post by Emily Moise from KID Museum shares a way for kids to truly take things into their own hands.]

KID Museum, the creative, hands-on learning space in Bethesda, MD, is challenging middle schoolers across the region to create an invention that will solve an environmental problem.

The Invent the Future Challenge, now in its third year, is part of the museum’s invention programming amplified by a district-wide partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Almost 1,000 kids participated in last year’s challenge, and the museum seeks to double that this year by reaching more schools and students beyond MCPS.

The challenge question is a big one — What will you make to protect life on this planet? — but the guidelines are simple:

  • Form a team of 3-6 middle school students and one adult team coordinator.
  • Make a physical representation of your invention.
  • Spend no more than $60 on materials for your invention.
  • Present at the Challenge Summit in May for a chance to win awards & prizes.
  • Photo Credit: Edwin Remsberg Photography



    Kids can get involved in the challenge through STEM-focused clubs and teachers at school, or on their own with a parent coordinator. School groups can visit KID Museum for Invention Studio field trips — skill-building sessions in design, engineering, electronics, coding, and prototyping — or through Invent the Future weekend workshops at the museum.

    Previous award winners include a “smart tree” for early-detection of forest fires, a coded water-rationing device for showers, and solar panels that double as advertising on buses and buildings. Winners received tickets to local amusement parks and awards to display at their schools, and were invited to exhibit at FutureFest, KID Museum’s annual family festival.

    And for the grown-ups, there are other ways to get involved in the challenge and support KID Museum’s mission to inspire the next generation of changemakers. You can serve as a mentor at an Innovation Exchange or as a judge at the Challenge Summit. The Summit is also open to the public and should make you very hopeful for the future!

    Visit kid-museum.org/invent-the-future for more information and to get started today. Registration is open now through January 31, 2020.


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    Filed under 2019, 2020, Competition, DC, Educational, Middle Schoolers, Special Event, Tweens

    A Unique Educational Experience at Sandy Spring Friends School

    [Note: This is a Sponsored Guest Post contributed by the staff at Sandy Spring Friends School in Sandy Spring, MD.]

    Are you searching for the perfect school for your child? If you are seeking a unique educational experience that provides small classes and personalized learning; an inquiry-based approach to academics where our hands-on (project-based) curriculum takes place inside the classroom and across our beautiful 140-acre campus; and a character-based education that fosters critical thinking and empowers students to make the world a better place, then you should check out Sandy Spring Friends School.

    A Personalized Approach
    Founded in 1961, Sandy Spring Friends School (SSFS) enrolls just over 600 students from age 3 to 12th grade, a “just-right” size that allows students to be part of a diverse community of learners (including a robust international student population in the Upper School), while also allowing for an intimate classroom setting. With class sizes maxing out at 16 students, our first-rate teachers can offer personalized attention and cultivate each student’s talents and interests.

    Teachers at SSFS know their students well and along with guiding them toward success in the classroom, they can help direct students and families towards in-house support they need to help them thrive. From a Student Resource Team to our Learning Resource Collaborative, support staff help students achieve academic success as well as improve their skills in self-awareness, self-advocacy, and independence.

    Hands-On and Experiential Learning
    At SSFS, the curriculum is informed by the latest scientific research on how the brain works and learns best. With continual professional development on mind-brain education, our teachers learn to effectively apply these best practices into their classrooms. When the mind-brain approach to teaching is combined with the benefits of learning in nature, you experience the magic that is Sandy Spring Friends School.

    The 140-acre campus provides many unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. Wide-open spaces and a natural playground are used daily for exploration and play. Additionally, the campus includes a farm, a pond, an old-growth forest, a stream that feeds into the Anacostia Watershed, six miles of cross-country trails, and an aerial adventure park adjacent to the School.

    The Lower School program takes advantage of these assets through a variety of learning activities. Students tap maple trees and re-enact the Oregon Trail experience in the fall, and make regular visits to the pond throughout the spring to see for themselves how tadpoles develop into frogs. A Farming Program engages students in inquiry-based learning as they reflect on their explorations, record their experiences, and formulate their own conclusions.

    Classes in all divisions use the campus environs not only to expand students’ scientific thinking but also to further develop their understanding of stewardship and continual care of the earth. Seventh graders spend time studying sustainable agriculture methods on our campus’s organic farm. Upper School students use the farm and school land for scientific field study in Biology, Geology, and AP Environmental Science courses. Upper School students even utilize the farm for athletic conditioning (not many other DC-area school athletic departments can boast a “Farming for Fitness” class!).

    A Values-Based Education
    Strong academic, arts, and athletics programs are vital components of a college preparatory school—and indeed, SSFS seniors are accepted at selective colleges and universities across the country and around the world. However, for Sandy Spring Friends School, our education extends beyond what our students know and focuses on who our students become.  

    The School’s values are rooted in Quakerism, which has a long history of commitment to social justice, equality, integrity, and peaceful resolution of conflict. SSFS focuses on instilling the Quaker SPICES— Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship— into each child, from preschool (age 3) all the way to senior year.   SSFS offers distinctive programming that integrates the SPICES throughout the school year:

  • Each division participates weekly in Meeting For Worship, a meditative practice which offers time for quiet reflection for students.
  • Students participate in social-emotional education that teaches students from an early age how to navigate conflict peacefully and respectfully.
  • Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools have a student body government, where students using consensus to select leadership.
  • A Senior-Buddy Program pairs up 12th graders with Preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st-grade students. The groups get together several times throughout the year for lunches and playdates, forming special bonds of friendship between the oldest and youngest students on campus.
  • A “Community Day” in the fall and an “Our People, Our Planet Day” in the spring bring the entire preschool–12th-grade community together for environmental stewardship projects, reflection, team-building games, and opportunities to learn more about the various cultures represented by the School’s diverse student body.


  • Come and See Us In Action!

    Fall Open House | Sunday, October 20, 2019, 1-3:30pm
    Preschool-12th grade families are invited to come and meet our community of scholars, performers, thinkers, and doers. During our Open House, you will have the opportunity to tour our amazing 140 acre campus, meet our dynamic faculty, students, and parents, and visit our classrooms and facilities. Can’t make it to the open house? Schedule a private tour by emailing us at [email protected]

    Snapshot Days | November 12 & November 19, 2019 • 9-10am
    Preschool and Kindergarten families are invited to join us for a Snapshot Day on our beautiful campus! Snapshot Days allow a first-hand peek into our Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms for you and your child. Your little learner will spend one hour exploring our classrooms while you have an opportunity to speak briefly with teachers, administrators, and other parents; ask questions; and see our program in action. You may also sign up for an optional campus tour.


    This post is sponsored by Sandy Spring Friends School, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.


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    Filed under 2019, DC, Educational, Gradeschoolers, Guest Post, Maryland, Middle Schoolers, School Event, Schools, Teens, Tweens, Weekdays