Category Archives: Camps

Camp Base Solon! What a Troop!

This week has been awesome.  Today is the last day for this camp, so we’ll get to see the final presentations of what kind of kinetic sculptures the kids have created in their groups.  We have almost 30 kids in this camp, it is the biggest camp we have had so far – we have a total of 6 groups and 6 kinetic sculptures!  It’s interesting to see what portions of the camp the kids are more intrigued to learn more about in each week’s camp base.  Last week, they were more into wood working, and this week I would say that their sketches were more elaborate and students kept going back to their drawing boards while they were working and building away.


It’s also great to think about how more and more organized we are getting with each week of camp and how natural things are feeling as time progresses.  Everything has become progressively smoother, which is a very good thing.  Especially with the group this week, we changed some things up with some of our hand-building tutorials and Scratch demos, which saved us a lot of time that the kids used to brainstorm and work on their projects the first couple of days.  I can’t wait to see the final sculptures, it’s going to be so good.  One group brought their own Lego cars that they can attach the Lego WeDo motors to move in order to trigger a motion sensor, and somewhere in between another car is sent off with a fan using a DIY sail made of toilet paper and rods.  Pretty neat!  Stay tuned!


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Maker Corps at PAA Hip Hop Camp!

In our final camp of the summer, myself and fellow Maker Adrienne were invited to share some of our activities with the campers at PAA’s final Hip Hop Camp, which took place at the Idea Center in downtown Cleveland. The students experimented with Makey Makeys, the computer looper MnnTss, stop motion animation, and created their own instruments. They incorporated these experiments into their own hip hop styles and processes, to help prepare them for the final performance. It was a blast to work with these blossoming young artists, and I look forward to hearing about their amazing future accomplishments!

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Brook Park Library: Media Arts Camp

The Students at Brook Park Library amazed us with their creations this week! Their incredible stop- motion animations can be viewed here.

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Dynamite Productions: A Snake’s Life

Be on the look out for this beautiful set after Media Arts campers from the Brook Park Library publish their websites this afternoon!



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Music Production Camp: Experimenting with Sound at the Bay Village Library

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Campers at the Bay Village Library got to experiment with sound last week at PAA’s Music Production Camp.  They used the computer program Garage Band to record their own beats which they got to burn onto CDs and take home.  It got louder than usual in the library when students jammed out on instruments they created from recycled materials(please refer to our found sounds posts, previously in Lakewood and Maple Heights).  On the final day of camp, students used everyday objects like chairs and bananas as computer keys when hooked up to some homemade DIY Makey Makeys – an electrical device that can turn any conductive object into an instrument when connected to a computer (please refer to our previous Makey Makey experiments at Maple Heights Library). Groups that finished investigating instrument possibilities early enjoyed looping sounds together with the computer program MmTss.  Thanks to the Bay Village Library and enthusiastic campers for a wonderfully loud week!

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PAA at MoCA: Graffiti, Screen Printing, and Self Expression at PAA’s Hip Hop Camp


I was lucky enough to be able to assist PAA member Ainsley Buckner in running the graffiti and screen printing section of the Hip Hop Camp at MoCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland.

On the first day, we showed the students examples of graffiti from all over the United States, explaining the culture of graffiti as well as the artists’ process. Each student picked a tag name and illustrated them using markers and colored pencils, inspired by classic graffiti structures and style. The second day was devoted to exploring the artwork of artist and nun Corita Kent, who’s screen prints are currently on display at MoCA. After viewing and discussing the work, the students chose a letter from their illustrated tag name and designed a multi- layered screen print similar to Ms. Kent’s multiple alphabet series.

The screen printing process was extremely hectic, but very rewarding for the students and instructors alike! It was amazing to see their understanding of Ms. Kent’s work reiterated and transformed within their own screen prints, allowing their own identities to be expressed through their prints and graffiti names.





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Media Arts Camp: Independence Public Library

As our second Media Arts Camp of the summer is drawing to a close, it strikes me how much the group has grown in the past week. We began the camp with multiple examples of stop- motion, and throughout the week students who had formally never heard of this form of animation are now bringing in their own examples and making multiple other short stop- motion videos at home. Their sets were creative, ideas lively and thriving, and the final films edited with care. We will be celebrating their achievements with an animation fest, during which they will screen their final products for the class and for their parents and explain their process. This will require using elements of professionalism and presentation skills, which myself, Wayne, and Leigh(co- teachers and fellow PAA members) have been embedding in the lessons throughout the week. Here are their finished animations and websites!

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Media Arts Camp: Middleburg Heights Public Library

The first media arts camp brought about some extraordinary animations from the Middleburg students. I was very impressed with their focus and team work, particularly when it came to the editing, final touches, and pulling all the elements together as a group(or “studio”). I was also impressed with how eager they were to share their processes and ideas with the class. Towards the end of the week, students who were ahead or finished with their animations were assisting other groups and teaching them about software they themselves had only just learned about.

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I certainly learned a great deal about how unique each group dynamic can be; something I may do differently in the future is have the students group up with those they “link” with in the beginning. We played a game called linked in which we said our names, and a fact about ourselves, and if a person shared that fact they would stand next to their link until everyone was linked together in a circle. Instead of choosing groups randomly with a count-off, it may be better to have them work with people they feel a connection with, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant that connection may seem. Another thing I will be tweaking in our next camp is the types of programs used, in order to make the editing process a bit smoother. While using iPads and iStop- Motion was a huge success, We will be using iMovie to do the bulk of the editing instead of pushing Adobe Flash. Although the websites are up and running, we will also include a lesson on professionalism when we teach the program iWeb.

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One thing that worked out excellently was the inclusion of the parents in our final Animation Fest. The students really enjoyed showcasing their work, and the parents enjoyed the fest as well.

The final animations and websites can be viewed here!

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