Summer Explorations

Want to build a robot, play with clay, learn to code, or discover your DNA? These are just some of the learning opportunities offered during Summer Explorations at the Harvard Ed Portal! Summer Explorations programs are for Ed Portal members only. Space is limited—please apply in person by the May 15th priority deadline.

Time: Sessions run July 10 to August 4, 2017.
All Summer Explorations will be held Monday–Friday*
*Discover your DNA and Bike Workshops will be held Monday–Thursday, 9am–12pm

Pick up and Drop Off: Doors open at 8:40am. Please DO NOT drop off your child prior to that time, as the Ed Portal will not be staffed. Pick up is at 12:00pm. Please arrange to have your child picked up no later than fifteen minutes after twelve.

Please indicate on your registration form, how your child will be arriving and leaving each day. If there is a change, please call the office at 617-496-5022.

Food Policy: Breakfast and a mid-morning snack will be provided. There will be a nut free snack option provided. However, please be aware that if your child has any additional food allergies, he or she should bring in a safe snack. 

Week of July 10:

1) Science and Cooking
Develop science and mathematics skills in the context of food and cooking, while thinking about nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Students will learn food preparation and cooking skills under the guidance of Harvard students and staff.
For: rising 6th - 8th graders

2) Creative Coding Studio
Design, develop, animate, create, and express yourself in this one-week of creative coding! We will be using Scratch programming to explore creativity and the world of code.
For: rising 4th - 6th graders

Week of July 17

3) ThinkerAnalytix
Learn the skills citizens need to build a just, productive, and creative community—and receive a $225 stipend! Students will work together and with scholars using HarvardX online courses to learn the basics of US government, ethical reasoning, and argument building to develop tools for the classroom—and for life!
For: rising 9th – 12th graders

4) Discover Your DNA: An Adventure in Laboratory Biology
Isolate your own DNA and discover how your genes control what you can taste! Students will learn how to use lab equipment and also visit the Harvard LifeLab to learn about biotech innovations, inventions, and careers!
For: rising 8th - 9th graders

5) A.R.T. Kids Company Jamboree
A.R.T. Kids Company Jamboree is a creative playmaking program for young students. Each day, we start with an established children’s story and use improv games, creative play techniques, and craft projects to act out the story LIVE!
For: rising 1st - 2nd graders

Week of July 24

6) Bike Mechanics and Safety 101 Bike Workshop
Learn the basic mechanics to maintain and repair all of the moving parts of the bicycle to keep it running like new! Participants will also learn how to ride safely in a variety of settings including paths, parks, and on the street.  The workshop is designed for children who already know how to ride a bike, however those who do not know how to ride, or who may need some practice riding independently, are welcome and encouraged to take part.  There will be a limited selection of bikes available to participants who do not already own a working and correctly fitting bike. 
For: rising 4th - 6th graders

7) Soft Robotics
Learn how to build robots! Students will work in groups to design soft robotics to solve real-world problems. Participants will also explore how soft robotics is changing healthcare, field exploration, and cooperative human assistance.
For: rising 6th – 8th graders

Week of July 31
8) Clay Creations!
Come get messy exploring clay at the Harvard Ed Portal! We'll learn lots of hand building techniques and put them to use creating an assortment of take-home projects and an exciting collaborative piece that will be put on display for all to see!
For: rising 4th - 6th graders

9) Beginners Biking Workshop
Children will learn basic maintenance—such as inflating a tire and checking the chain—as well as age-appropriate safety. Children who do not know how to ride, as well as those who do know how or who may need extra support in learning how to ride independently, are welcome.  There will be a limited selection of bikes available to participants who do not already own a working and correctly fitting bike. 
For: rising 2nd - 4th graders

How to apply:

  • Pick up an application and return to the Ed Portal via mail or in-person during public hours

You will receive an email from Ed Portal staff with a confirmation of your child's enrollment and additional information.

Deposit: There is a $20 refundable deposit per child required to apply for the Summer Explorations program. If your child attends all sessions with no unexcused absences, your deposit will be refunded in full. Please let us know if the deposit would prevent your child from attending.  

Registration: All students need to fill out a registration form and provide all the information requested. The forms include information regarding health information (i.e. allergies), emergency contacts, and a media release.

Priority Deadline: Monday, May 15

Who can sign up?
Any Ed Portal member (or Ed Portal eligible) who meets the age/grade requirements. Ed Portal eligible children will be required to sign up for a free Harvard Ed Portal membership.

How do I sign my child up?

  • Pick up an application and return to the Ed Portal via mail or in-person during public hours

The priority application deadline is Monday, May 15. You will receive an email from Ed Portal staff with a confirmation of your child's enrollment and additional information.

How many sessions can I sign my child up for?
Identify the sessions for which your child is both eligible (based on grade) and interested in. Please identify up to two choices. All applications will be processed after the June 9th deadline. Every effort will be made to give each youth a space in his or her first or second choice program. If space allows, youth may be enrolled in a second program.