FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
How the Camp Works / Daily Operations / After the Camp
- Where will the San Carlos Summer Camps be held?
The camps will be located at Arroyo School, located on the same campus as Central Middle School, at the 1710 Arroyo Ave. entrance. They are scheduled for the weeks of July 9-13, July 16-20, and July 23-27. We also plan to have other camps located along the Peninsula on other dates, but the details are not yet firm.
- What is the transportation/parking situation?
The school parking lot is modest in size. There is also limited on-street parking nearby. Please observe signage for parent dropoff and pickup, if your camper will be allowed to check themselves out. Otherwise, please park legally long enough to sign your child in and out. Arroyo School is a new SCSD school adjacent to Central Middle School. It is a 17 minute walk from San Carlos CalTrain station.
- I would like to enroll my child for multiple weeks. Will the curriculum vary each week so they continue learning new material?
Yes! In each strand, there tends to be a wide range of experience levels, so there are also varied activities. Although a small amount of overlap is unavoidable just to ensure everyone understands a few key points, the program is structured around supporting self-paced, project-based learning. You can repeat the same strand for multiple weeks or choose different strands every week.
- What is the maximum enrollment?
The maximum enrollment for most topics is 24. Each class is led by an adult instructor and supported by at least one experienced college or high school intern, yielding a 1:12 ratio. We anticipate enrollments between 16 and 20 in most classes.
- My child has never attended your camp before and isn't sure which strand(s) to sign up for. Will students be allowed to switch strands after the camp starts?
Yes! One of our areas of emphasis is to make things flexible and easy for families, who aren't always sure what will be best. We consider the ticket selection to be a useful first approximation so we can estimate headcount and allocate resources appropriately, but it is definitely not cast in stone.
- What should I bring?
Campers should dress in comfortable clothing, taking into account the weather forecast. They should bring a bottle of water, snacks, and a sack lunch. For the safety of other campers, please do not send nuts of any kind - not even PB & J sandwiches. Within the enrollment form, there is an option to purchase lunches for the week, depending on dietary restrictions.
- If my child misses a day, will they fall hopelessly behind?
No. We work with every student to ensure that they are enjoying the work and making good progress. Work is mainly self-paced.
- Are students from other schools welcome?
All activities associated with this Summer Camp program are open to the general public. We often attract a few campers from around the world.
- Are there ID, minimum age, or other requirements to enter the event?
Campers should be from 6 to 14 years old at the time of camp. No prior experience is required. Older, more advanced campers will be allowed to use more of the tools and tackle more challenging projects. If your camper would be outside of this age range, please consult with us before enrolling.
- Can I drop off my kids before and/or after camp begins?
Campers may be dropped off as early as 8:00 AM and should be ready to get started at 9:00 AM. There is no charge for 8:00 AM dropoff. There is an optional extended care program for late afternoons, at additional cost. This option is offered within the enrollment form. The instructional day begins at 9:00 AM and ends at 3:30 PM.
- What is the refund policy?
Cancellations up to 2 weeks before first session: we will refund 90% of amount paid. After that, we are able to refund 50% of the pro rata amount for the remaining sessions.
- What discounts are available?
Various discounts are available for the main camp activities, including Early Birds, Multiple Siblings or Multiple Weeks, and San Carlos School District staff members. The best discount is Early Bird, which is 15% and available through March 14. Discounts cannot be 'stacked.' If you are unsure which discounts apply to you, please ask. Promotional codes are also used to award scholarships to socioeconomically disadvantaged and foster students, as philanthropic support permits. For certain events, such as Maker Faire, a discounted week at camp may be awarded as a prize after a drawing.
- Are any scholarships available?
Some scholarships are available, based on financial need (eligibility for free/reduced student lunch). Depending on funding availability, we also offer scholarships for local foster youth. Please contact us to confirm eligibility and availability.
- Are there any other costs?
Most routine costs are covered, including modest amounts of materials such as PLA for 3D printed objects and other inexpensive consumables. Each child is also given, at no extra cost, either a BBC micro:bit or a Makey Makey GO (depending on age) to keep at the end of camp. However, some activities - such as making complex electronic projects - if taken home after camp - could result in costs for microprocessor boards, servos, sensors, or other expensive components. Such costs would require reimbursement at actual expense. Any such costs are discussed in advance.
- What happens if this gets cancelled?
Each topic requires a minimum of 12 paid participants in a given week. If the minimum is not met, participants will be notified as far in advance as practical and full refunds will be provided, as well as the option to switch to a different topic or week if available.
- If my child misses a day, can I get a pro rata refund?
No. Managing this becomes far too complicated. Sorry!
- May I pay by check? I am not comfortable using PayPal/credit/debit cards online.
Yes. Click on Show other payment options when you go to register. However, your seat is not guaranteed until your check has been received at our office. In the case of Early Bird or similar date-based discounts, your check must be received by the deadline date.
- How can I learn more about the camp?
Visit our web site, here: https://learningtech.org/summer/
Send us email, here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us, at: 650-598-0105. Dr. Erickson is available at x212 and Dr. Miller is available at x203.
- San Carlos is too far away. When will you offer a camp in my town?
Learningtech.org offers programs from time to time in a variety of locations around the SF Bay Area, and sometimes in other locations such as Southern California.
Please monitor our web site and join our mailing list to stay in touch! Please also feel free to email us to suggest a location where you would like to help us establish a new camp. Sometimes we may be able to offer a program, when a community comes together to support it; or we may be able to recommend a camp run by respected colleagues closer to your location.
- After the camp, how can my student continue learning about the topics covered in the camp?
On Friday afternoons, the closing event is a camp 'show-and-tell' where each camper will share a bit of what they have learned and demonstrate one of their projects. At that time, we will hand out materials suggesting ways to support continued learning at home, including information about the BBC micro:bit or Makey Makey GO, as appropriate.
- Last summer, there was an Advanced Projects topic, oriented toward older campers. Is that available this year?
Yes, the same types of projects, oriented toward older campers, are still available. These have been folded into the 'Making' strand; please sign up under that ticket type, even if there is a strong text-coding aspect to your idea. Please feel free to include a bit of information about your focus in the 'Comments' field of the enrollment form, or just send us an email.