Curriculum Components

Arts Stations

Each afternoon, students are provided with the opportunity to express their artistic talents – whether they are interested in painting an artistic masterpiece, directing a short play, or sculpting the first idea that comes to mine – using a variety of arts, crafts, and performance arts supplies.

Computer Gaming

Each afternoon, students in first-grade and up are provided with the opportunity to participate in supervised, unstructured computer gaming. During this time, students may play games recommended in the STEAM curriculum guide, or students may play other age-appropriate games on school-approved websites.

Daily Team Challenges

Each day, students participate in structured team-building challenges that emphasize teamwork, cooperation, and collaborative thinking. Examples of Daily Team Challenges include obstacle courses, logic puzzles, and minute-to-win-it challenges. Students remain in the same teams throughout the week and earn points for every challenge that their team wins. The team with the most points receives a prize at the end of week during the STEAM Celebration.

Free + Guided Play

Play, which is crucial for students’ social and intellectual development, is a central component of the Summer Labs experience. Each day, Summer Labs provides students with opportunities for both free and guided play.

Free play is time for students to participate in self-directed activities, which include playing on the playground, reading a book, or drawing a picture.

Guided play is time used to participate in structured activities. Examples include participating in a team building challenge, competing in a sporting event, and playing a board game.

Depending on the weather, students will be outside for free and guided play as much as possible.

Learning Centers

Every morning and afternoon, students have the opportunity to participate in learning centers. Learning centers allow students to freely explore the possibilities of play with building blocks, logic puzzles, science/engineering kits, and other educational toys and games.

During this time, students may elect to participate in other self-directed activities, such as reading, completing arts projects, using computers, and playing recreational games.

Pre-Kindergarten + Kindergarten Nap

During the computer gaming hour each afternoon, pre-kindergarten/kindergarten students have the opportunity to take a nap under the supervision of an Afterschool Labs teacher.

Parents are required to send a blanket with their pre-kindergarten/kindergarten children for use during nap time. Afterschool Labs strongly encourages parents to send a mat with their pre-kindergarten/kindergarten children for use during nap time as well.

If parents prefer for their pre-kindergarten/kindergarten children to not participate in nap time, then they need to let the Lead Teacher at their site know on Monday of each week. Pre-kindergarten/kindergarten students who do not participate in nap time will be allowed to read or draw quietly during nap time.

STEAM Lessons

For one hour every morning and afternoon (except for Fridays), students will explore topics related to the science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics inherent in each curriculum theme listed below..

Itsy Bitsy Bug's Life, June 5 – 9

Students will explore the world from a bug’s perspective during this hands-on, investigative unit. During the week, students will learn about common traits of insects, arachnids, myriapods, earth worms, snails, and slugs. Students will design a new insect, and while studying about slugs, students will make their own slug slime! This entomological unit will engage students through experiments, original works of art, group activities, and play.


Water World Explorers, June 12 - 16

Our world is mostly made up of water, and in this interactive unit, students will learn about just how important water is to our world. Throughout the week, students will learn about a variety of water habitats, the properties of water, and of course, the impact of water on our health. Students will participate in water sports, relay races, 3D models, and scientific experiments. It’s sure to be an entertaining and extremely wet week of water investigations!


Artists' Workshop, June 19 - 23

Students will engage in hands-on activities that focus on different genres of art. Genres include installation, portraits, cartooning, Native American art, sculptures, and much more. During one activity, students will design and create their own comic strips! Another activity will focus on Native American headdresses, and students will design and construct their own headdress to take home. Students will develop their creativity and love of art during this week-long summer camp.


Mechanics of Motion: Part II, June 26 - 30

In this physically and intellectually interactive unit, students will discover how transportation has evolved over time. Students will use group activities, experiments, and play to learn about the laws that govern motion on our planet, the evolution of transportation, and how their bodies can move and manipulate objects. During one activity, students will design and create their own rollercoaster!


Culinary Cook-off, July 3 - 7

During this week, students will learn about gardening, clean eating, budgeting, and cooking. As students plant their own vegetable seed to take home, they will discover the benefits of healthy eating. Students will also make no-bake recipes and learn how to set a table! Experiments, art, and play with different foods are sure to make this one of the tastiest weeks of Summer.


Musical Magicians, July 10 - 14

During this week, students are provided with an opportunity to experience the magic of music by learning basic musical skills, building their own instruments, and choreographing dance moves. Designing their very own instrument and creating their own signature dance move are just two of the engaging activities planned for students this week. Musical Magicians will engage and entertain learners of all ages.


Operation Architect: Part II, July 17 - 21

During this week, students will engage in experiments, design models, and complete engineering challenges. Students will learn about the basics of architecture and engineering through hands-on projects using a variety of materials, such as Legos™ and pool noodles. Students will attempt to knock over student-built castles and design flotation devices. New challenges and missions await students during this STEAM unit!

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