left page banner image right page banner image

Summer Programs

Dream Design Discover

The Advent School Engineering and Design Summer Program – Dream, Design, Discover – began in the summer of 2012. Working in collaboration with staff at MIT’s D-Lab, Advent teachers designed a summer curriculum that offers hands-on engineering and design experiences for children. Our relationships with various organizations and community groups continue to provide children in the program with opportunities to experience engineering in the city of Boston. Past field trips during the summer program have included MIT’s D-Lab and Edgerton Center, the MIT Museum, the Museum of Science, and Legoland Discovery Center.

Registration Information

Registration for Summer 2015 begins in January 2015.
January 12: Early bird registration for Advent families
January 20: Registration for all

Questions about our summer program? Please email our Summer Program Coordinator, Amber Lowe, at summerprogram@adventschool.org


Policies and Procedures
Program Brochure

Program Details

During Summer 2015, we are offering three two-week long programs, starting June 15 and ending July 31, 2015.

Summer 2014: Investigation of wind and water along the Charles River, at The Esplanade.
Summer 2014: Investigation of wind and water along the Charles River, at The Esplanade.
All programs are available to children ages 5 to 9 (age by Sept. 1, 2015) regardless of school attended. Children ages 10 to 12 (age by Sept. 1, 2015) can enroll in the Design Leader program in June.

Junior Designer Program – for children aged 5-6 years old. 16 spaces per session

Inspired by the Reggio-Emilia approach, Junior Designers are provided with ample opportunity to explore and create as they generate scientific ideas and theories. Open-ended questions invite the children to engage with materials in interesting ways, while an introduction to the design process helps them further their creations. The teachers use the children’s curiosities and interests to guide the daily activities. Trips into the community, including daily outdoor play and museum visits, allow for design observation and inspiration. See a sample daily schedule.

Senior Designer Program – for children aged 7-9 years old. 18 spaces per session

The design process is a central focus for the Senior Designers. The importance of steps like idea generation and gathering feedback are emphasized as the Senior Designers build, test, and re-think their designs, working towards the creation of a final prototype. Access to tools and instruction on their use allow these designers to create with a variety of materials. Daily outings, including outdoor play and museum visits, extend the learning and build an understanding of the impact innovation can have on our world. See a sample daily schedule.

Design Leader Program – for children aged 10 – 12 years old. Pilot Program – JUNE SESSION ONLY. 10 spaces in June session

We are excited to add a new age group to this year’s summer program (during the Engineering Explorers session.) Combining the principles of design with leadership skills, the Design Leaders learn how to teach and support others in the design process. As they create with materials and learn proper tool use, Design Leaders share this knowledge with the younger designers through joint design activities. Daily outings, including outdoor play and museum visits, highlight design and innovation in the community and provide new leadership opportunities.Children interested in the Design Leader program are asked to write a few words about “Why I want to be a Design Leader” in the application process. (Please see Online Registration form.)

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30AM – 4:00PM
Extended day is available from 4:00PM – 6:00PM
Cost: $1200 / 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.

Participants work closely with Advent teachers during the design process.
Participants work closely with Advent teachers during the design process.

Summer 2015 Sessions

*Engineering Explorers: Tools, Materials, & Design*
June 15 – 26
Ages 5 – 12 (Junior Designers, Senior Designers, and Design Leaders)
Junior Designers group – FULL
Senior Designers group – FULL
Email our Summer Program Coordinator with questions about our waitlist.

Let your imagination run wild in the Advent maker space! Building on children’s natural curiosity and tinkering, designers in this session are given access to a variety of materials and tools. Specific “skills building” activities focus on proper tool use and the properties of materials. Along with opportunities to engage in their own creative designs, a larger teacher-led group design project allows designers to collaborate with others as they work to build a final prototype. The Design Leaders will create mini lessons and activities to teach design, materials, and proper tool use to the younger designers in the session, with teacher supervision. Field trips to the Museum of Science (all ages) and MIT (ages 7 – 12) highlight the impact of innovation and design in our world.
Session Information

*Building Boston: Structure & Design in the City*
July 6 – 17
Ages 5 – 9 (Junior & Senior Designers)
Junior Designer group – FULL
Senior Designer group – FULL
Email our Summer Program Coordinator with questions about our waitlist.

Designers in this session examine the amazing feats of engineering all around as they explore the famous buildings of Boston. The children will visit, observe, draw, and re-create Boston’s structures as they expand their understanding of concepts such as material strength, stability, and scale. Design challenges further this exploration as the children are challenged to use everyday materials to build their own structures. The designers will be invited to re-create a replica of a Boston building or design a structure for a futuristic city. Learning is extended through field trips to the Museum of Science and the LEGOLAND Discovery Center.
Session Information

*Cardboard Carnival: Fun with Everyday Materials*
July 20 – 31
Ages 5 – 9 (Junior & Senior Designers)
Junior Designer group – FULL

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.

Inspired by “Caine’s Arcade,” designers in this session will create a Cardboard Carnival complete with arcade games, mini carousels, rollercoasters, and more all made from everyday materials. The session begins with an exploration of paper and cardboard and how they can be used as effective building materials. Specific design challenges encourage the designers to engage intentionally with the materials and collaborate with others. Guided by the steps in the design process, the children will create prototypes of carnival games and rides. Field trips to the Museum of Science and a local arcade will serve as inspiration for designs. The session culminates with the “Advent Carnival,” an event filled with the children’s games, replicas, and design creations.
Session Information

Watch Summer 2013’s Rube Goldberg Machine in action!

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

“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