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Re: Summer chemistry for middle schooler
check out quantumcamp.com in downtown Berkeley. My son took one of their chemistry classes fall 2012 --level 3 which is 5th/6th grade -- explosions, experiments, weighing stuff, acids, flashes -- he loved it. Janis Chun was his excellent instructor, she has moved on to other ventures, but hoping the new person is also good. anon
Re: Private K-8 with strong science? Does it exist?
A cheaper way to get science/nature -- my son in public school has gone to quantumkids.com in downtown Berkeley. Also has gone to summer camp run by a teacher, camping in Big Sur, Mendocino etc. The teacher, Lee Tempkin, now teaches at NOCCS. It was enjoyable and nature-y, a bit granola-y, and is listed in Tom Lent's summer camp list. Quantum kids has been great in terms of meeting like minded individuals. The only private school I've seen that looks especially potentially science-y is maybe the small school in Berkeley that caters to intellectual kids. The Academy. Good luck. anon
Have your kids taken any classes at QuantumCamp in Berkeley? They've posted an announcement in this newsletter and their programs look interesting, but I am wondering if anyone has any personal experience with their science classes. Thanks. mom of a teen scientist
In addition, there were behavior issues with a few kids on a daily basis (name-calling, throwing things at other students, etc.). While that can happen in any setting, I usually expect the grownup in charge to set limits and boundaries to deal with it. Instead, the teacher ignored my son's concerns, then told me that he (the teacher) didn't want to be too strict with the kids who were acting up, because then the experience would be ''too much like school.''
Full disclosure: we didn't finish out the week. When the problems weren't resolved the first day, my son asked the teacher for help. When that didn't work on the second day, I spoke to the teacher (as noted above). The third day brought no changes, so we didn't go back. disappointed mom
I am also happy to say that they offer some courses during the school year. Most are currently not timed right for our school day (I think they cater to a lot of home-schoolers), but they have been very open to working out some kind of program for my son in an area of study that he wants to focus on. Hopefully, we can make that happen, but if not, I am sure we will sign up for camp again next summer.
FYI, they just moved into a new headquarters, and there is an open house September 2 from 7-9 pm. If you can't make it, you can email or call them. Mike Finnigan was my son's teacher and is very easy to reach. Their website is http://www.quantumcamp.com/
Hope this helps! I'd be happy to share more if you have any questions. Lori
In his words-
''Quantum camp did one thing that really amazed me more than anything else. It walked me through the ways scientists in the 1800s figured out many of the things that I had assumed were just math. It establishes key fundamentals of physics and leads the way to a true understanding of quantum physics. Ryan and Michael have hit upon a simple, elegant, and intuitive way of teaching advanced physics to kids. They use amazing equipment and set up experiments simple enough that they don't require much mathematical know-how. All it requires is a basic understanding of the simplest parts of algebra, and even that isn't too important until the end. I can't recommend this camp highly enough for kids interested in physics.''
Good Luck! Lori
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