While many North Americans are familiar with the concept of ‘summer school’ for primary school students, it’s a foreign concept for many Europeans. For many European, summer means no school: only vacation, relaxation, time with family, and recreational activities for children.
We’re not arguing for or against summer school. Different strokes for different folks. But we’d like to present it in the context of continuous learning and the computer science summer school programs we’ll be teaching this school vacation (July 23 – September 1).
What is Summer School?
First off, what is summer school? According to the Merrian-Webster dictionary, its “a school or school session conducted in summer enabling students to accelerate progress toward a diploma or degree, to make up credits lost through absence or failure, or to round out professional education.” Important to note is that the summer schools we refer to are taught by professional teachers, not hobbyists, volunteers or other professionals. It’s a staple in countries such as the U.S. and Canada.
In fact, companies such as EF Tours have built a business around providing middle and high school students from around the world with learning experiences and leadership training during school vacation. EF Tours invited us to organize computer science workshops for U.S. middle and high school students visiting Amsterdam earlier this week as part of their Global Summit.
Why summer school?
There are a lot of research studies (mostly American) which outline the benefits of summer school programs. These benefits include:
- reducing summer learning loss, especially a deterioration in math and reading skills
- giving kids the chance to gain new knowledge and skills or strengthen existing ones
- triggering new interests
- improving social skills through teamwork, collaboration, negotiation and presentation activities
- helping kids meet new friends outside of their normal school environment
NewTechKids’ 2018 Computer Science Summer School
This summer vacation, NewTechKids is premiering a new concept for computer science summer school. With fun and discovery as the lead factors, we have developed a series of six, week-long programs which introduce kids ages 7 – 12 to computer science, technological literacy and computational thinking. Most schools are not teaching these subjects, especially in the context of developing 21st century skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking.
Taught by professional teachers, we’ll be focusing on the following:
- encouraging kids to think more critically about the technology in their lives through discussions and debates
- challenging kids to learn how technology works by developing prototypes
- enabling kids to explain their thought processes when it comes to imagination and creativity
- giving kids practise working on challenges in teams which is increasingly how technology is developed and used
- exposing non-English speaking children to English vocabulary which defines technology
Our class sizes will be small to ensure that our teachers give kids individualised instruction and they get the chance to experience different roles such as designer, builder, programmer and project manager.