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Summer Programs

Dream Design Discover

Engineering and Design Summer Programs in Collaboration with MIT’s D-Lab

Since 2012, The Advent School and MIT’s D-Lab have collaborated on a summer program that offers hands-on engineering and design experiences for children.

The Dream Design Discover Summer Program takes place at the Advent Smart Lab, located at 99 West Cedar Street in Boston. Located steps from the Charles/ MGH stop off the Red Line.
The Dream Design Discover Summer Program takes place at the Advent Smart Lab, located at 99 West Cedar Street in Boston. Located steps from the Charles/ MGH stop off the Red Line.
D-Lab is a program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a mission to build a global network of innovators to design and disseminate technologies that meaningfully improve the lives of people living in poverty. (Click here to learn more about D-Lab.) Through our collaboration, D-Lab provides resources to help facilitate the teaching of the creative design process, including leading teacher workshops and hosting visits to the D-Lab workspace.

Registration Information

Registration opens January 20, 2014. Click items below for PDF downloads.

Program Brochure

Registration Form

Policies and Procedures

Program Details

During Summer 2014, we are offering three two-week long programs, starting June 16 and ending August 1, 2014. All programs are available to children ages 5 (or currently in Pre-K) to 9 (or currently in Third Grade) regardless of school attended.

Junior Designer Program – for children aged 5-6 years old. See a sample daily schedule.

Senior Designer Program – for children aged 7-9 years old. See a sample daily schedule.

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30AM – 4:00PM
Extended day is available from 4:00PM – 6:00PM
Cost: $1150 / two week session; $20 / day for Extended Day
Financial assistance may be available; contact Amber Lowe for more information.

Our Summer Program focuses on the principles of engineering and design. With Advent teachers as the instructors, our program aims to build children’s

• Creativity & Innovation
• Knowledge of Scientific Concepts
• Understanding of the Design Process
• Skills with Tools and Materials
• Ability to Problem Solve & Persevere
• Collaboration with Others

Most importantly, we encourage children to have fun while learning in a safe and supportive environment.

Watch last summer’s Rube Goldberg Machine in action!

Discovering Design’s Rube Goldberg Machine from The Advent School on Vimeo.

Toy Making: Engineering Fun | July 7 – July 18

Young engineers design and create new toys inspired by recycled and found materials.
Young engineers design and create new toys inspired by recycled and found materials.

Children around the world use their imaginations and available materials to make toys. In this program, children engage in their own toy creation as they rediscover the potential in everyday objects.

Junior Designers engage in open exploration and play with materials. Simple design steps help guide the children as they create their own toys using recycled and found materials.

Senior Designers focus on the principles of the design process as they build toy prototypes. Trips to MIT’s D-Lab and the MIT Museum inspire designs and provoke new ideas.

Click HERE for detailed program description.

Wind & Water: Engineering for the Environment | July 21 – August 1

Investigation of wind and water along the Charles River, at The Esplanade.
Investigation of wind and water along the Charles River, at The Esplanade.

Wind and water are natural sources of power and an accessible medium for children to explore movement and energy. In this program, children learn about these vital resources as they design and build wind and water powered devices.

*THIS SESSION IS FULLY ENROLLED*: Junior Designers explore movement and energy by creating pinwheels, kites, sailboats, and more. Trips to the Charles River and Frog Pond provide opportunities to observe wind and water powered designs in action.

Senior Designers follow the steps in the design process to create a working windmill or waterwheel prototype. Trips to MIT’s D-Lab and the Museum of Science demonstrate how innovative designs can address environmental issues.

Click HERE for detailed program description.

Marvelous Machines: From Simple to Complex | June 16 – June 27 – Session is fully enrolled

Participants work together to design and construct their projects, and have the opportunity to present their work through exhibitions.
Participants work together to design and construct their projects, and have the opportunity to present their work through exhibitions.

How do things work? What’s inside? Look closely and you’ll see that simple machines are everywhere! In this program, children learn about the six simple machines and how they are used in everyday items by people around the world.

*THIS SESSION IS FULLY ENROLLED* Junior Designers engage with toys like marble chutes and dominoes as they explore movement, force, and gravity. Trips into the community and to the Museum of Science inspire the children as they create simple machines.

*THIS SESSION IS FULLY ENROLLED* Senior Designers work together to design and build a working Rube Goldberg Machine. Trips to MIT’s D-Lab, the MIT Museum, and the Museum of Science serve as inspiration and support throughout the design process.

Click HERE for detailed program description.

“At the Advent School, kids are valued as students but also as individuals. The teachers take the time to get to know us – and our differences are just part of what makes our school stronger. During my 7 years here, I’ve always felt encouraged to explore my interests (definitely Math and Science) and have received support in more challenging subjects. Advent also gives students a voice. Students speak up and participate; we are encouraged to be honest and say what we think and even if someone disagrees with an idea, they respect their peers’ opinion. The Advent community has given me an opportunity to make true friends who support me and respect who I am. The teachers have always made learning fun but have also motivated me to work on the things I didn’t want to try and wasn’t as good at – this has opened my mind to subjects and ideas I would never have known about otherwise. I’ve really enjoyed my Advent experience and will take all I’ve learned - academic and personally – with me to my next school. ~Connor Bertsch Advent School Sixth Grader ”

— Advent Sixth Grade