Click below to find answers to frequently asked questions about Thinkery Camps.
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Thinkery Tax ID: 74-228-8789
What kinds of activities will my camper engage in?
Our camps offer hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering, art and math as a platform for innovation. Each weeklong camp provides a variety of fun mental and physical challenges that activate campers’ creativity. Each day, campers will engage in activities in the following focus areas:
Explore: Experience the amazing and intriguing scientific principles at work in the world around us. Immerse yourself in STEAM learning through interactive projects in which we discover answers by doing.
Design: Engage in our design process as we plan, create, test and improve our inventions. We celebrate fantastic failures and emphasize persistence, goal-setting and out-of-the-box innovation.
Move: Activate your body along with your mind through movement! Work as a team and problem solve through silly and engaging kinesthetic group games.
Connect: Be inspired and learn alongside local innovators. Full day onsite campers will connect with Austin thinkers and makers through field trips and guest speakers.
What does a typical day at a Thinkery onsite camp look like?
Each day, Thinkery campers engage in activities that encourage design, exploration, collaboration and movement. Activities are focused on the theme of the week.
Typical schedule for 1st–2nd and 3rd–5th grade STEAM camp:
|8-9 am||Optional extended care|
|8:50-9 am||Campers greeted by staff and checked in|
|9-9:15 am||Camp day begins – Opening circle and theme discussion|
|9:15-10 am||Camper’s museum – Time for campers to explore Thinkery exhibits before it is open to the general public|
|10-11:15 am||Design activity – Hands-on activity where campers are challenged to engage in the engineering design process|
|11:15-11:45 am||Park play outside|
|11:45 am-12:30 pm||Lunch – Outdoor play and environment-friendly activities|
|12:30-1 pm||Demonstration or guest presentation*|
|1-1:45 pm||Exploratory fun – Hands-on activity to explore a new concept or principle|
|2-2:45 pm||Thinkery exhibit exploration|
|2:45 pm||Snack break|
|3:15-3:45 pm||Movement activity – Campers work together as they learn through moving their bodies|
|3:45 pm||Closing circle and journal time|
|4 pm||Camp ends – Caregiver pick up|
|4-5:30 pm||Optional extended care|
*This is a typical day that does not include a field trip on these days we typically have a guest presenter and/or a demonstration. Field trips will occur on Tuesday and Thursday.
Typical schedule for Pre-K–K STEAM camps:
|8-9 am||Optional extended care|
|9 am||Campers greeted by staff and checked in|
|9:15 am||Opening circle with storybook and topic introduction|
|9:30-10:30 am||Camper’s museum – Time for campers to explore Thinkery exhibits before it’s open to the general public|
|10:30 am||Snack break and storytime|
|10:45-11:45 am||First activity block – Campers rotate through four activity stations to explore the day’s learning objectives|
|11:45 am-12:15 pm||Movement activity – Campers work together as they learn through moving their bodies|
|12:15-12:30 pm||Mid-day circle time with story book, journal time and review|
|12:30-1 pm||Lunch time|
|12:30-1 pm||Optional Pre-K-K part-day program ends—parents pick up part-day campers|
|1-1:20 pm||Rest and choice time – Campers work individually on a free work activity of their choice in a quiet setting, campers may also choose to rest if they desire.|
|1:20-1:30 pm||Group yoga – Campers get ready for the rest of their day with a few quick stretches.|
|1:30-2 pm||Design challenge – Hands-on activity where campers are challenged to engage in the engineering design process|
|2:15-2:45 pm||Exhibit exploration – Time for campers to explore a Thinkery exhibit|
|2:45 pm||Afternoon snack time|
|3-3:30pm||Big group activity – In a large group, campers enjoy a demo, nature walk or activity|
|3:30-4 pm||Closing circle time with story, journal debrief and bubble machine|
|4 pm||Camp ends – Caregiver pick up|
|4-5:30pm||Optional extended care|
What does a typical day at a Programming and Robotics camp look like?
Typical schedule for full-day camp at National Instruments or Magellan:
|8:50-9 am||Campers greeted by Thinkery staff and checked in|
|9-9:15 am||Camp day begins – Opening circle and topic discussion|
|9:15-11 am||Design activity – Hands-on activity where campers are challenged to engage in the engineering design process|
|11-11:45 pm||Movement activity – Campers work together as they learn through moving their bodies|
|11:45 am-12:45 pm||Lunch and outdoor play|
|12:45-1:15 pm||Review daily concepts|
|1:15-2:30 pm||Exploratory fun|
|2:30 pm||Snack break|
|2:45-3:30 pm||Work on culminating project|
|3:30-3:45 pm||Closing circle and journal time|
|4 pm||Camp ends – Caregiver pick up|
How will my child be supervised?
- We maintain a 1 to 6 staff to camper ratio.
- Each camp group is assigned one lead educator, two assistant educators, and trained volunteers.
- Campers will be escorted, as a group, to and from the bathroom by a Thinkery staff member.
- We maintain a 1 to 8 staff to camper ratio.
- Each camp group is assigned one lead educator, three assistant educators and trained volunteers
How does Thinkery maintain safety during free play in the museum?
Our youngest campers, Pre-K–K, are always limited to one exhibit space at a time during free play in Thinkery. Also, these campers always wear bright vests while free play is taking place so they are highly visible to Thinkery Camp staff. Our staff will maintain a 1 to 6 staff ratio while enjoying Thinkery exhibits. Additionally, Pre-K–K campers enjoy a portion of free play before Thinkery is open to the general public every day.
Free play in Thinkery for our more independent 1st–5th graders is always limited to one exhibit space at a time. Staff maintain a 1:8 ratio during exhibit exploration to ensure campers are enjoying both a safe and enriching time while in the exhibits. Our 1st–5th grade campers will also enjoy time in the museum before it is open to the general public.
Who is the staff that my child will interact with?
The staff members in each camp room are excited, caring and creative people. They have a passion and joy for sharing the innovation process with your camper.
Our staff goes through a rigorous four-stage interview process that includes: Application, group and one-on-one interviews, reference check and a national background check. Those that meet our standards and maintain Thinkery values are invited to join the Thinkery team. Once hired, every Thinkery Camp staff member receives three full days of training on Thinkery’s learning philosophy and care giving standards, including state recognized abuse prevention and CPR courses. After training, staff are mentored with ongoing supervision and feedback provided by the Camp Management Team. We are very proud of our dedicated and accomplished Thinkery Camp staff.
How do you handle the grade distinction in the summer?
The grades posted for each camp indicate the grade level your child will enter in the 2017–2018 school year. This includes both spring break and summer camps.
Is there a minimum age for Thinkery Camps?
Yes, campers must be four years old by March 1, 2017 to participate in our camp program. If your child does not meet this requirement, consider our Early Learners programs. This age restriction is in place to ensure the success of each individual camper.
Do Thinkery Camps serve children with special needs?
Although Thinkery Camps are not specifically designed to accommodate children with special needs, we make every reasonable effort to serve campers who require special attention or consideration. If you are interested in enrolling a child with special needs, please contact the Camp Manager (contact information below) to set up a meeting to evaluate our program’s suitability for your child. We also welcome camper aides, but require all aides who attend camp to complete a background check before camp begins.
If your child has a special need or a life-threatening allergy, please contact the Camp Management Team to discuss their needs before the camper’s first day. We want to prepare Thinkery Camp staff and educators in advance so that we can make your child’s camp experience as safe as possible.
Contact information: Camp Manager: email@example.com or 512-469-6223.
What is your cancellation policy?
Refunds cannot be made 14 or fewer business days before the start of the camp. A non-refundable fee of $35 is included in the price of your camp tuition. Cancellations made 15 or more business days before the start of camp will receive a full refund minus the $35 processing fee.
In the event that minimum enrollments are not met, we reserve the right to cancel or reschedule camps. If this occurs, your entire tuition will be refunded.
What is included in the price of my child’s Thinkery Camp?
Your camp registration includes five days of Thinkery Camp fun and learning, including hands-on activities, guest speakers and field trips for full-day campers. Your registration also includes one Thinkery Camp t-shirt. Extended care can be purchased for an additional fee.
Can I transfer my Thinkery Camp session to a different week, location or camper?
We cannot accommodate direct transfers to a new camp session. If you need to change the week of your Thinkery Camp, our cancellation policy will apply. If you are interested in booking additional camp weeks, please call Thinkery Reservations at (512) 469-6201 or register online! The camp you sign up for is uniquely yours. Sessions are not transferable to other campers.
What happens if the Thinkery Camp I want is full?
You may purchase a Thinkery Camp online at the time most convenient for you. When a spot becomes available in a camp, the website is immediately updated. For this reason, we do not maintain a wait list.
Can my camper be placed in the same group as a friend?
Camp is all about exploring with friends, new and old. We often hold the same Thinkery Camp in two camp rooms during the summer. If you would like to be placed in the same room as a fellow camper, add their name in the ‘additional info’ section when you sign up for your camp or feel free to call our Thinkery Reservationist at (512) 469-6201—we’ll make a note in your reservation.
What is Extended Care?
Extended Care allows you to drop off your child as early as 8 am (one hour before camp begins) and pick them up by 5:30 pm (90 minutes after camp ends).
Extended Care includes creative and fun activities led and supervised by Thinkery staff. Campers are invited to follow their interests and choose activities they would like to explore each day. Each week, Extended Care will look slightly different and be driven by the interests of the campers.
Extended care is available at two of our four camp locations – Thinkery and The Magellan International School. Extended Care is not available for camps hosted at National Instruments or Valley View Elementary.
For camps hosted at The Magellan International School, Extended Care is hosted and run by The Magellan International School and runs from 8 am–6 pm for a fee of $55. A separate registration and medical release form is required by the school.
How do I sign up for Extended Care?
You can purchase Extended Care for the Thinkery location when you register for camp. If you’ve already registered for camp, you may purchase Extended Care by calling Thinkery Reservations at (512) 469-6201.
For Thinkery Camps hosted at The Magellan International School, Extended Care is hosted and run by The Magellan International School and runs from 8 am–6 pm for a fee of $55. A separate registration and medical release form is required by the school.
Extended Care is not available for camps hosted at National Instruments or Valley View Elementary.
Do you offer financial assistance? How do I apply?
We have received an overwhelming response to our scholarship program. All new applicants will be placed on a waitlist and notified if a spot becomes available.
Every year, we offer discounted camps through our scholarship program. If you are interested in applying to the scholarship program, please read the application process on our Registration and Pricing page, or in our Thinkery Camp 2017 Scholarship Application PDF (English/Spanish). Please note, these scholarships operate on a first-come, first-served basis.
What do I need to submit to be applicable for a scholarship?
Each interested applicant must submit a completed application, including one form of proof of eligibility.
What is the deadline for scholarship applications?
Applications must be received by April 21, 2017 for all Thinkery summer camps. Scholarship applicants will be notified on May 1, 2017.
How can I donate to your scholarship program?
If you are interested in helping make Thinkery Camp a possibility for all, you may donate toward our camp scholarship funds by visiting our Donate Now page and selecting “Educational Program Scholarships” as the designation. One hundred percent of your donation will go toward tuition for campers who demonstrate financial need. Thank you for helping us realize the reality of camp for all!
What is your tax ID number?
What options are there for my teenager at Thinkery Camps?
The Counselors-in-Training (CITs) program includes a one-week training and an opportunity to sign up to take a leadership role in one or multiple camp sessions through out the summer. CITs work closely with staff mentors to lead fun STEAM-based activities, set individual goals, develop new skills and gain valuable work experience.
I still have questions. What now?
Not a problem, we’re here to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (512) 469-6201. Your calls and questions are very important to us, and we will respond to all requests within one business day.