Kids who love to tinker, design, create and code are our country’s tech leaders of tomorrow. From their interests in Lego, Minecraft, robotics, even YouTube videos, our tech-native kids are primed to innovate, game and STEAM their way to the future, and have fun doing it. This summer, you can spark your kid’s enthusiasm for all things tech at Classroom Antics summer camp experiences across metro Detroit.
“There are so many summer camps that focus on sports or horseback riding, but for kids who really get into computers, robotics and gaming, there aren’t as many choices,” says Toby Foote, who founded Classroom Antics 15 years ago in response to growing interest in summer camps that reflect what many kids really like to do.
“I recognized that tons of mechanical engineers gravitate toward computers, technology and automation and how to make things work better. Really the only place to start to learn to do that is in college, but that’s way too late,” Foote says. “I wanted to find ways to bring that education to the elementary and middle school levels.”
At Classroom Antics, kids ages 7 to 13 can dig into eight different week-long in-person summer camps to engage their creativity and problem-solving skills at locations in West Bloomfield, Walled Lake, Royal Oak, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Troy and Northville.
Each weeklong 15-hour camp brings together small cohorts of similar-aged kids to dig into one or more immersive aspects of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math). Families can choose between eight distinct camps that focus on game design, YouTube video development, stop-motion animation, Lego robotics, Minecraft coding, and Minecraft animation.
A fun mix of creativity and technology
Camps at Classroom Antics give kids the chance to get creative. “In our Brick Flicks class, kids use Legos to make their own stop-motion animation videos using the latest stop-motion film software,” explains Sheri Niedermyer, Owner of Classroom Antics. In this camp, kids ages 9 to 13 create multiple stop-motion films and learn elements of filmmaking and film production — including voice-overs, overlays, and green screening.
Younger kids will love Lego Bots Camp, which is perfect for 7 to 9 year olds who want to build and code Lego creations to complete tasks, make sounds and react to sensors. Kids learn about simple machines and basic coding skills.
New to Classroom Antics this summer, kids can learn the basics of 3D animation in Minecraft Animation, using Mine-imator animation software to create YouTube-style videos with Minecraft art. “Kids who watch Minecraft movies on YouTube can learn how the professionals do their work! We use the same software but teach this skill on an elementary level,” Niedermyer says. “They’re not just recording the Minecraft screen, but are using keyframe positioning to create motion, focus and shoot their characters communicating. They tell stories and it feels like a Minecraft TV show, not just watching someone play Minecraft.”
True skill development
Regardless of the Classroom Antics camp choice, kids engage in an educational program taught by professionals. “These camps are true specialty camps and not day care programs,” Niedermyer explains.
What’s really exciting is that Classroom Antics has been teaching kids long enough to see the successes of camp alumni. Watch the From Camp to Career video at Classroom Antics to learn the story of one former camper who took his stop-motion animation skills using Play-Doh and Lego characters all the way to a fine arts degree — and eventually an award-winning film and a career in animation.
Classroom Antics camps allow kids to experience technology from the inside – building skills and priming their brains to think in new ways and solve problems under fun circumstances. For maximum engagement, each camper is assigned their own equipment to use during the week. They never have to share or wait their turn.
“A mantra that we have at Classroom Antics is that we turn consumers into creators,” says Foote. Even if your child has other interests like sports or music, they will still have a blast learning at a Classroom Antics summer camp, says Niedermyer. “Most children have been exposed to technology. Kids who love gaming, Legos, and YouTube can really get into our summer camp programs because they can learn what they love!”
Learn more about Classroom Antics camps this summer in West Bloomfield, Walled Lake, Royal Oak, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Troy and Northville.