Category Archives: camp

Do You Have a Budding Spielberg or Scorsese? Let Them Build Their Talents at Austin’s Film Camp for Teens

Finally — a summer camp for our budding film-makers.

Summer Film Camp Image from News8The Austin Film Festival summer camp started 15 years ago and has drawn thousands of participants who write and review screenplays and direct, produce and star in their films. Each camp provides a summer fantasy for around 200 children who get to perfect their various film-making interests.

The purpose is to present the concept of communication (of an idea or a message) to students in a way that enables them to connect with the media which they consume on a daily basis. Ideally, this will help to make them better communicators and more critical consumers of media. They learn script writing, craft story telling, marketing, communication, understanding audience and produce films.

The program offers in two modes. Children aged 9 – 12 will learn the entire process of conceptualization of story for a short film to finished piece and marketing. Students produce their shorts using digital video cameras with digital non-linear editing systems. Children get the opportunity to work in these technology areas, which is not a normal industry practice.

The second mode is for children aged 13 – 17. In this program, they will learn scripting, comedy shows, video class and make a film. Additionally, one of the inherent aspects of the film process which they learn is collaboration, as the medium. Parents are more excited than their children.

The skills learned both from the equipment and from the process of filmmaking can be applied to future careers in not only film-making, but other media like advertising and consumer communication fields. Though many enrolled students are inherently interested in the artistic applications of camp, the technology opens up other significant opportunities after college. Many of the past campers are now enrolled in film schools throughout the US.

Since the late 90’s, the film industry has been in the process of shifting to digital technologies in all aspects of film production. Not only is film being shot in a digital format, but the editing, sound, special effects and finally projection have all moved out of the real world and onto the computer. Technology can make film making easier now a days that anyone can buy a digital camera and make film. Apple comes with its own software which can literally edit and make films.

New digital technologies allow innovative and original voices to be seen and heard because technology has knocked down many of the roadblocks which the entertainment industry constructed with the original studio system. These digital technologies have allowed even the youngest filmmakers to produce work of a quality which would rank with some professionals (HD camera/final cut editing system).

Children are very excited when they are behind the camera. Here is what they say after the program:

“I’ve learned so much at the Austin Film Festival camp that it’s inspired me to go on and create my own movies outside and put my hands on every project I can,” said Elizabeth Breazile, a former film student.

In addition to this Camp, the Austin Film Festival runs a program in two Austin public High Schools in co-operation with the school district. The unique program teaches screenwriting in the underserved school’s English classes. Through a technology grant from AT&T, we were able to expand the program to include production of the screenplays which the students write. This opened up the opportunity for students who would not normally have the opportunity to even consider a media career to also learn practical, applicable tech skills which can be applied in a variety of careers. The student’s inherent interest in media opens up the door for them to realize many other opportunities.

For more details and other information, visit here
For registration, click here

Barbara Morgan
Executive Director, Austin Film Festival

Barbara Morgan – A biography

Barbara Morgan co-founded the Austin Film Festival (AFF) in 1994 after a series of successful ventures in the music industry. In addition to running her own financing business for national broadcasters since 1988, Morgan managed musicians during Austin On the Road, a nation-wide tour of Austin singer/songwriters, which included Michael Fracasso, David Halley, Jimmy LaFave and Jo Carol Pierce; and also co-produced records with musicians such as Michael Fracasso and Charlie Sexton as an extension of her managerial career as well.

Since 1999, Morgan has served as the executive director of the AFF, the first festival to celebrate and recognize the screenwriter as the heart of the creative process of film making. In its fourteen-year history, the Festival has expanded to include a four-day screenwriter’s conference, eight-day film program, screenplay and teleplay contests and a film competition. In 2006, the AFF drew more than 2,500 registrants from around the world and sold more than 25,000 movie tickets. The AFF is one of the few U.S. festivals to be officially recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its jury winning films.

Regarded as one of the top three script contests in the world, the AFF’s screenplay competition initiated the process of combining talented, undiscovered writers with production companies. In its first year, the AFF introduced screenplay winner Max Adams to then head of production at Columbia Pictures, Barry Josephson. The result of their meeting was the production of Adams’ script, Excess Baggage. The industry attention created by the sale of Adams’ script not only propelled the AFF to greater notoriety, but also encouraged Morgan to develop and produce a film from a screenplay competition submission. The film was 1996’s semifinalist Natural Selection, whose writers, B.J. Burrow and Allen Odom, had already signed a contract with Gotham Entertainment based on their Festival success. The finished film, which stars David Carradine (Kung Fu), Michael Bowen (Jackie Brown), Darren Burrows (Northern Exposure), Stephen Root (News Radio) and Bob Balaban (Waiting for Guffman), was completed in early 2000; has been aired on Showtime and the Sci-fi channel; is in DVD distribution and has been released internationally. In 2005, Morgan co-produced the feature documentary Antones: Home of the Blues, which was released internationally and is available on DVD; and in 2007 Morgan produced the locally made documentary, Teaching Austin: 150 Years of Public Education.

Morgan’s most recent project has been the expansion of the AFF’s Young Filmmaker Program. The program, which began with the Festival’s 1994 inception, sprang from Morgan’s volunteer work at Brackenridge Children’s Hospital, and provides local youth the opportunity to make films through the AFF Summer Camp in partnership with the University of Texas RTF department and hosts hundreds of students every summer. The program also provides scholarships to high school students enabling them to attend October’s festival at no cost and the chance to meet their screenwriting and filmmaking heroes. Recently, Morgan produced a video with the Texas Education Agency to promote a new screenwriting competition aimed at schoolchildren. The competition seeks to encourage the creativity and communication skills of participating children, by providing them with the tools necessary to improve their work in school and increase their chances of success as they enter the workforce. As a result, the Story Telling Through Film program has been implemented at three Austin High Schools and every year reaches about 500 students.

About Austin Film Festival:

The Austin Film Festival’s Film Camp will be hosted this summer at McCallum H.S. in Austin, Texas. McCallum, home to one of the leading Fine Arts Academies in the U.S., houses an impressive filmmaking lab with new Apple computers and a film studio for shooting, making the camp one of the most popular technology-oriented summer classes in the area.

In its 6th year, this affordable camp is designed to keep kids engaged in the arts by working on creative projects with qualified counselors who have experience in media-related fields. Camp gives kids interested in film an opportunity to learn from filmmakers, film students, and even film professors from UT, an experience otherwise hard to come by.

Campers can choose special-interest classes depending on their age, including Claymation, script-to-screen, funny shorts, special effects and even music video production for older campers.

The Claymation series involves using three-dimensional media and live-action, stop motion animation to make inanimate characters come to life in short films. The script-to-screen, special effects and music video courses combine the technological aspects of lighting, sound, editing and camera operation to teach young students the ins and outs of filmmaking. Students have the ability to actually produce films and receive a copy of their work on DVD at the end of the camp.

The Austin Young Filmmakers Camp takes place June 9 – August 8. Both one week and two week sessions are available for the classes, which are several hours a day on Mondays-Fridays

As an aside, the AFF Film Camp has many success stories, but the most recent involves local student Bryanne Cooke who has attended multiple camp sessions and just recently earned a full-tuition 4-year scholarship to USC’s cinema program. She credits AFF Film Camp for shaping her interest and skills.

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Bring Out the Hidden Talents in Your Kids This Summer

How do you know if your kids have a hidden inventive talent?  Do you have the skills and time to provide them with role models and develop them to cope with the dynamic future?

Here is a unique summer program for you kids, which will propel the inventive thinking in them. Michael Oister has had this mission for the last 17 years.

Image from Invent OrgThey offer an innovative summer camp, which offers various programs like Club Invention, Camp Invention, etc. Club Invention is an exciting out-of-school-time program where children learn through hands-on fun. Children in grades one through six are immersed in activity-oriented adventures that enhance their understanding of science, mathematics, history, and the arts – it’s learning disguised as FUN!

The camp focuses on reverse engineering, math skills and engineering solutions. The aim of this camp is to create a new problem solving skills; instill critical thinking and prepare them with technical skills so that they can cope with future changes. Creating role models in kids is a big challenge in today’s world and this program will create new mindsets and paradigm shifts in them.

Through this open, immersive environment, children can inspire themselves and others to drive a lifetime of positive change through their future professional work as great leaders and thinkers of the nation and world.

The weeklong program promotes creativity, imagination and leadership through activities and games that disguise learning as fun.

They have various clubs for different age groups. It starts from a day’s program to a week long program. The 5-day program conducts by local teachers at local schools. The programs are structured to allow an inventive spirit and promote a hands-on immersive learning environment for children entering first through sixth grade.

By working through curriculum challenges and activities in groups and individually, children gain self-confidence, begin to understand the dynamics of teamwork and discover that what may be the wrong answer to the challenge at hand could be the right answer for another activity.

Children are able to be hands-on without the pressure of memorization or time constraints, so they can explore and try new options, even if the solutions are all in their heads.

The program has been supported by the parent company, The National Inventors Hall of Fame and a yearly supporter in the United States Patent and Trademark Office that allow us provide our curriculum and our take on learning as an enriching and rewarding experience to children in communities across the nation, specifically in the New England and Boston-areas.

The curriculum focuses on math, science, and engineering principles, bringing them down to levels that children can understand and use to bring new perspectives to all areas of their life.

Many times, children and their parents will tell how much more they are excited and active at house and at school in these fields and how they plan to turn that excitement into future areas of interest or fields of study.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame, the parent company, has some of the best and brightest minds as its yearly class of inductees. With over 800 inductees’ work as inspiration, they strive to challenge children to do more than ever before not only in our program, but in the world around them.

The curriculum is all aligned with national and state standards and has strong roots in math, science, technology and engineering. The inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame have served as inspiration to make sure they enrich children’s lives each day.

The new dates of this camp is July and August. You can visit the site for more details.

Michael J. Oister

Michael J Oister – A biography:

Michael J. Oister is president and chief operating officer of Invent Now Kids Inc., a subsidiary of the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation based in Akron, Ohio. Oister is a founder and former president of Classic Sport Cos. of Denver.


The Camp Invention program is a hands-on, inquiry based learning opportunity, the Camp Invention program promotes science, math and technology principles on levels which our attendees can understand. Children entering first through sixth grade can attend this nationally-acclaimed program and leave discovering that an inventive spirit (our parent company is the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation), creativity and “no wrong answers” are a reality and can actually be a lot of fun. The program is a great supplement and enrichment to the traditional education structure of our public school system.

The Camp Invention program is a week-long program hosted in local communities and schools throughout the country. This summer, there will be more than 1,000 sites with 65,000 participants, with many programs running in the Boston-area.

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4H Provides Incredible Technology-Related Camps for Kids — Not Just Animal Husbandry any More

Is your kid interested in Robotics, Biology or other Technologies? Believe it or not 4-H camps now have it all.

4H is now a growing community of more than 6.5 million young people across America who learns leadership, citizenship and life skills to uplift the country. National 4-H Council is the national, private sector, non-profit partner of the 4-H Youth Development Program and its parent, the Cooperative Extension System of the United States Department of Agriculture.

4-H prepare America’s youth by encouraging exploration, discovery and ignite passion for science, engineering, and technology through accessible, hands-on out-of-school programming. 4-H does these things by mapping DNAs, solving problem and instigate possibility thinking in kids. It uses science to solve community problems and giving an opportunity to work in cutting-edge technologies. 4-H takes youths to labs, research organization and involve them in some real projects so they become interested and create project on their own.

To develop these youths, 4-H partners with several science or engineering-based corporations and universities to develop camps. Through this 4-H foster an early interest in the sciences with the hope that youth will be interested in and pursue technical careers in the future. The corporations commit to the work of 4-H as part of ensuring a pipeline of qualified workers for the future.

4-H offers 400 residential camps that foster interest in the sciences. 4-H’s educational programs in science, engineering, and technology have an unparalleled reach of more than 5 million youth in all 50 states. It has a longstanding history as a leader in youth education and has partnerships with 106 Land Grant Universities and the university-based curriculum.

According to Rising Above Gathering Storm, 2006, only 5% of college graduates in America are leaving college with degrees in science, engineering or technology compared to 66% in Japan, 59% in China and 36% in Germany.

4-H is playing a vital role in positive youth development by aligning the interests and talents of today’s youth with current technologies, resources, and communal offerings and by showing that scientific studies can be part of the social and academic norm.

A recent study (Tufts University Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development) shows that participants in 4-H are more likely to obtain higher school grades, enroll in college, and contribute to society. When compared to children who participate in non 4-H related out-of-school activities (sports, Scouting, etc), 6th graders currently participating in 4-H clubs and after-school programs are 1.6 times more likely to enroll in college.

Children who had participated in 4-H for at least one year by 8th grade are about 3.5 more likely to contribute to their families, self, and communities. They are also 1.3 times more likely to be on the lowest trajectories for both depressive symptoms and or risk/delinquent behaviors.

4-H stresses on “learning by doing”. It believes that by doing something students learn faster than reading.

Some of the 4-H science and tech camps, where students really learn by doing.

  • The ExxonMobil Foundation and The Harris Foundation funded a summer science camp with the 4-H extension program at Oregon State University where 6th and 8th graders learn about Lego robotics, ecology, and Web 2.0 tools. As a result, 80% of campers reported an increased interest in science as a result of attending; 55% planned a career in science.
  • Intel has invested nearly half a million dollars in the 4-H Tech Wizards program in Washington County, Oregon. The program charges kids with using state of the art technology, like handheld GPS/GIS devices to complete community projects including street tree inventory and mapping the safest walking routes to local schools. Intel employs 16 thousand people in that area.
  • Utah State University and Utah 4-H teamed up to create 4-H Aggie Adventures for Kids, a program offering educational day-camps that explore archeology, solar energy, GPS technology, robotics, chemistry and physics.
  • 4-H held an invitational day camp for both individuals and groups at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Participants were immersed in hands-on training for a space shuttle mission and explored the history and future of a manned space flight.

You can also volunteer 4-H by clicking here

Dr. Cathann Kress
Director of Youth Development National 4-H Headquarters at the US Dept. of Agriculture

Dr. Cathann Kress – A biography

Dr. Cathann Kress Ph.D, Director of Youth Development, National 4-H Headquarters at the US Dept. of Agriculture. She provides national leadership for youth development issues within the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and provides program leadership for youth development programs administered through the Cooperative Extension System and Land Grant Universities, including 4-H, USDA-Military Partnerships, Rural Youth Opportunity Programs and Children, Youth and Families at-Risk (CYFAR).

Dr. Kress provides national leadership for youth development research, education and program implementation, which includes providing information, resources, and support related to current and relevant youth issues; oversight for training for youth-serving professionals; support for the development of curriculum and materials related to current youth issues and administration of grants programs, including Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR).

These programs reach more than 7 million youth (ages 5-22) annually, with the assistance of over 640,000 adult volunteers. Dr. Kress directly supervises 16 staff and works collaboratively with about 3,000 land grant university faculty and staff leading 4-H at the state and county level, and with over 60 affiliated private foundations and organizations. Federal support for these programs is approximately $80 million annually, which leverages additional state and local public dollars and substantial grants and other private funding.

Dr. Kress joined CSREES in October 2002, after serving as Assistant Director for Cornell Cooperative Extension and State 4-H Leader in New York. Dr. Kress also served as State Youth Development Specialist for Iowa State University Extension, primarily serving as a violence prevention consultant for schools and began her Extension career as a 4-H Youth Development Educator in Benton and Tama counties in Iowa.

Dr. Kress co-authored the book, Key Resources on Student Services as well as the annual guides, Understanding the Iowa Youth Survey Data: A Practical Guide for Schools and Communities. Prior experience includes teacher training and education for gifted students.

Dr. Kress lives in Southern Maryland with her husband and three children.

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Science, Technology and Mathetmatics Education Gets a Boost From Summer Camp

Northeastern's historic Ell Hall on Huntington Avenue

Image via Wikipedia

Have you heard about a unique summer science camps for kids? Do you want your kids to outperform in Science and Technology? Here is a piece of information, which will propel your kids to new heights.

Northeastern University conducts STEM program by integrating Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics. The mission of STEM is to enable youth to develop and achieve their full potential through support of social, recreational programs.

STEM offers various programs at different levels and BHSSC is one of them. The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp (BHSSC) is a free, academic program funded by The Harris Foundation, that takes an active role in shaping education in students entering grade 6,7, or 8 in the fall of 2008.

The camp identifies 48 students from the greater Boston area / primarily Boston itself. It tests the application level in math / science grades / teacher recommendation / essay. Students can participate for one summer only and are supported through follow-up sessions and complimentary program such as the algebra plus camp at math power.

A 2 week residential program accommodate only 48 students in one batch. It involves field excursions; interaction with engineers, scientist, researchers, and other professionals; developing new projects; hands-on experience in relevant fields; on-campus residential experiences. This summer, STEM plans to conduct 20 such camps across US.

The camp is staffed by high quality faculty / administrators and students from the College of Arts and Science and the College of Engineering at Northeastern University, providing STEM students an opportunity to be engaged in educational outreach efforts.

This camp program was originally developed as a collaborative effort of the Harris Foundation, the Houston Independent School District, the University of Houston (UH) and the Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU), designed to support historically underserved and underrepresented students with limited opportunities.

Clare Duggan, Associate Director – STEM program, feels that STEM is critical to society’s infrastructure for the 21st century and preserving that future requires an investment, such as the BHSSC, in our youth today.

To know more about STEM programs, visit

Claire Duggan
Associate Director
Center for STEM Education

Claire Duggan – A biography

Claire Duggan, Associate Director, Center for STEM Education, Northeastern University; co-director, Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp Richard Harris, Co-director, Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

Claire directs a number of teacher and student programs, including the Exxon Mobil / Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp.

Northeastern University, founded in 1898, is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions.

Northeastern University’s Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education has a mission to work with students and teachers in the Boston area. The Center for STEM education is directed by Christos Zahopolous.

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