Fight Summer Brain Drain with Educational Camps

I was given a challenge this week.  A challenge to come up with an activity that fights brain drain. Because you know, summer is coming.  And when kids are out of school, sometimes they like to leave their learning behind.  But it really doesn’t have to be that way.  Especially if they have intriguing things to do that offer hands-on learning.  The kind of activities that educational camps provide.  Many thanks to Galileo Camps for sponsoring this post and pushing me to craft outside the box :)

Fight summer brain drain with hands-on learning activities that are fun with kids.  Things like musical art, mountain climbing engineering and international culinary arts.  (sponsored)

Fight Brain Drain with Educational Summer Camps

Looking for ways to keep your kiddos busy, engaged and learning this summer?  Galileo Camps has an amazing selection of sessions for your little maker, musician or mountain climber. Based on the innovation process developed by the Stanford Design School, Galileo’s camps are an evolving series of imagination-sparking programs for kids from Pre-K through 8th grade.  Housed in nearly 30 different locations across the Bay Area and LA, kids can play & learn with topics like Galileo Rocks: Music-Inspired Art and Instrument Engineering or Mount Everest Expedition: Himalayan Art & the Science of Scaling Mountains.  I love what they do because art and science mix together to create entertaining and educational fun for kids.

Starry Night Sky Electric Collage

This summer, Galileo Camps has a whole innovative session on creating electric art as a part of their Arts Academy for 5th-8th graders. Making electrical crafts are our newest obsession because they bring a whole new meaning to mixed media art projects!  For a quick way to try it out before camp time comes, try this Starry Night Electric Collage.

Create this starry night sky that lights up with real LED's and electric circuits.  Perfect for STEM education for elementary and preschool aged kids.


Supplies Needed

  • Dark blue card stock
  • Black paper or card stock
  • Yellow tissue paper
  • Bare Conductive Electric Paint Pen
  • 5 mm LED lights
  • Pin contact coin cell batteries, 3V, at least 40 mAh
  • Push pin
  1. Make your skyline:  Cut out black paper in varying building silhouette shapes.  Varying shapes and heights makes for a more interesting skyline & geometry lesson :)

Cutting Skyline Left Brain Craft Brain

  1. Add the tissue paper stars:  Decide where you want your stars to be and glue on a crumbled up layer of yellow tissue paper.  Plan where you want the LED’s to go and use a little less tissue paper so they show up better.
  2. Insert the LEDs: First poke two holes through the tissue paper star with a push pin, about 1 mm apart.  Then insert the LED, one contact through each hole, making sure to remember which side has the longer contact.  Flip the card over and mark the longer contact with a + sign. Fold the wires flat on the back of the card.  You can tape down the middle of the contacts (not the ends) if desired to keep the LED in place.

Electric Collage Steps Left Brain Craft Brain

  1. Add the battery: Place battery as shown on the back of the collage with the positive pin aligned with the plus sign.  Please note, coin cell batteries are hazardous if swallowed so be sure to keep these away from kiddos that still put things in their mouth.
  2. Paint the circuit: Paint two lines for each LED, one from the positive contact on the LED to the positive contact on the battery and one from negative to negative.  You don’t need a super heavy line (this isn’t puffy paint), but be sure you get a continuous line of the paint that’s about as wide as the pink line.  If the line is too thin, the LED’s don’t get enough power.  Do not fill in the area where the battery or LED go.
  3. Let it dry:  Let the conductive paint dry.  The paint instructions said 15 minutes, but I must have applied a heavier layer so it took a few hours.  The paint becomes fully conductive only when it’s completely dry.  If the kiddos can’t get over their anticipation, you can pop the collage into the oven on the lowest setting (170º on mine) for 5 minutes to speed up the drying process.
  4. Light it up: The LED’s will light up once the paint is dry.  If you want, you can add a switch like in these Light-Up Circuit Valentines.

Get Ready for Summer Now

Get ready to fight brain drain with hands-on activities light electric art.  And get your kids excited for summer, not just because school is out, but because of the cool things they get to do.  Galileo will make it a summer of innovation… Click on over to Galileo Camps and enter the code 2015INNOVATE for a $30 off discount.  Sign up before March 2 for early bird pricing but don’t worry if you don’t know the perfect weeks yet, you can change your schedule for free until May 1.

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