About Boolean Girl Summer Camps
Boolean Girl camps have been recognized multiple times as “Best Camps” by our campers, as well as by local and regional media outlets. At the camps, girls develop new friendships in a welcoming group environment and are introduced to computer science and engineering fundamentals through a series of unique projects and hands-on challenges. Camps and classes are designed using a holistic approach to learning, from an introduction to coding using interactive play with wooden blocks to getting hands-on experience with multiple programming languages and electronic circuit building.
Our goal is to mix play and programming through meaningful, hands-on instruction and sustained exposure to computer science and engineering. Our camps are part of a broad set of lessons and activities designed to progress a girl from beginning coding in Scratch to coding in a text based language Python and building electrical circuits.
While the girls learn a lot at camp, they are not just sitting at their keyboards. We play lots of games, listen to music, play outside, and just be girls. The instructors are a mix of local teachers, female college students getting computer science or engineering degrees from schools like UVA, Va Tech, and the University of MD.
Friday at Boolean Girl camps
On Fridays, we celebrate our week of discovery. We bring in lunch, show off our work, and are joined by one or more Boolean Girl ambassadors. Ambassadors are local women working in the STEM field. They might be programmers but we've had civil engineers, electrical engineers, and even architects join our camps for the afternoon. Ambassadors share their experience in STEM, they might lead a short project or challenge, talk about careers in STEM, 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. Don’t worry about leaving work for the showcase - it’s just a chance for our campers to practice explaining and demonstrating their programs. The girls get to bring their programs home so if you can’t attend the showcase, you’ll still get to see their creations.. Because we work in Scratch and Python, free programming resources, there is nothing to buy to see your daughter’ work.
Summer Camp Information
Summer camps are offered in Arlington, DC, Montgomery, and Fairfax counties. All camps are a week long. Registration for Arlington and DC camps are completed on the Boolean Girl Website. Registration for the Montgomery and Fairfax camps must be completed by following the link to the county websites.
Registration and Login for DC and Arlington: When you are ready to register for a camp in DC or Arlington you need a new and separate login. We use an outside company called Sawyer (hiSawyer.com) to manage registration. This is a different registration than you might use for the Boolean Girl website. It is also a new service this year so your login from last year will not work. We think you will find the process much simpler than last year but please let us know your thoughts.
Before and after care: In Arlington and DC, Boolean Girl provides before and after care for full day camps. When you register for these camps, select the camps and before and after camp care if needed. For the camps in Fairfax, run by Fairfax Parks and Rec., register for before and after care with the county.
Camp Options: For 2020 we are offering 4 different camps described below. Each camp has an age or grade range recommendation. Every child is different and their level of experience is different. Age and grade recommendations are just that, a recommendation. I would caution pushing kids too far ahead, putting them in a Python camp in 4th grade could be frustrating and discourage them from future STEM endeavors. If you have questions or are just not sure, send us a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give us a call (202.996.8241). We love talking to parents and are happy to guide you to the appropriate camp for your daughter.
CODING ADVENTURES: THE FUNDAMENTALS by Boolean Girl
Want to have fun while learning to code? Imagine, act & code! We use creative play and games to teach the basics of coding. Girls will imagine an activity... they’ll act it out... and then they’ll code it. Using Scratch (programming language), our curriculum engages students and transforms them from computer users to creators by designing animated characters, games, and interactive stories. From beginners to students with prior coding experience, we teach the way kids learn best: through play, collaboration and imagination. Boolean Girl inspires girls to build, code, invent, and animate, preparing girls everywhere to explore computer programming and engineering.
Completed Grades: 3 - 5
CODING CHALLENGES: BEYOND THE FUNDAMENTALS by Boolean Girl
For girls who are familiar with the basics of coding, this course takes the fun to the next level, introducing advanced coding concepts, electrical engineering, and program design. Girls build animations and games, all while learning complex concepts like sequencing, troubleshooting, critical thinking, and conditional logic.
Next, we tackle gadgets. After a brief intro to electrical engineering, girls will design hands-on projects using buttons, lights, and wires to bring their ideas to life.
Finally, girls learn basic program design. Each girl is challenged to imagine, design, and create her own ideas, tell the story behind her programs, and create them with her newly-learned skills. This class can be repeated as the challenges and projects change each session.
Completed Grades: 4 - 6
MINECRAFT PROGRAMMING: AN INTRODUCTION TO PYTHON by Boolean Girl
Learn how to teleport, change blocks, freeze water, and build a game inside the Minecraft universe. Working with a Raspberry Pi computer and a special version of Minecraft designed to run on the Pi, girls will learn Python, a language originally developed to teach kids to code now used by companies including Instagram and Facebook. Python is also one of the first languages taught in high school programming classes.
Each class challenges students with more complex concepts and exercises as they progress. Using Minecraft Pi is a great way to transition from Scratch to a programming language used by professional programmers and taught in most high school programming classes.
Completed Grades: 5- 8
CODE AND CONNECT: FUN WITH GADGETS by Boolean Girl
So, you know how to code in Scratch (or another block-based language) or Python? It’s time to connect your code to gadgets! Girls will see and experience the power of using code to control objects in the real world. In this hands-on camp, students will design projects using buttons, lights, wires, and sound. Merging basic knowledge of electricity and their coding skills, girls will build gadgets of their own design, including computer-controlled light shows, motion sensors, game controllers, and skill challenges.
Camp includes a brief review of Scratch and an introduction to electrical circuits before we start building.
Best for girls in Grades: 5 - 8