This NEW theme explores the many different ways in which to make things move! Girls experiment with a variety of techniques -- wind-up mechanisms, zip lines, cam mechanisms, levers, catapults and more. Projects may include: PVC pom-pom launchers; rubber-band propelled cars; mini-marshmallow catapults; bristle bots and other favorites from our Gadgets that Go and Mini-Pets classes. All the projects use tinkering and hands-on engineering to achieve a “zoom!” factor.
DIY Your Room
Create cool accessories to add personal style to your space!
Design-it-yourself… fun accessories for your room! Girls spend the week creating original decorative elements to add personal style to their space. Favorite projects include lanterns and beaded shades, throw pillows, wall art, t-shirt throw rugs and colorful desk-top organizers. Through each project, girls are introduced to various different DIY techniques – sewing, weaving, taping, notching, decoupage, beading and simple construction. They finish the week with an array of new accessories for their room!
Design + construct your very own miniature dream home!
Girls will think broadly about engineering + design while being introduced to basic principles of architecture, interior design and product design. They'll begin by sketching ideas, planning their spaces and curating their materials. They will learn about scale and proportion, as well as basic construction and building techniques. Using a variety of materials -- wood, plexiglass, specialty papers, and re-purposed small items from your recycling bin -- they'll construct their very own miniature house complete with furniture, accessories and the inhabitants who will call this new place home.
Soft Toy Sewing –– for girls entering 4th – 6th grades
Girls design their own toys, and learn hand-sewing techniques!
We hear it from them all the time -- girls want to learn to sew! This theme combines our popular toy design curriculum with hand-sewing. Girls conceive of and design toys or creatures they would like to have for their own, and then create them by sewing. It’s a true combination of design and fine-motor-skill hand execution using a needle and thread and various soft materials -- fabric, felt, fur, and more -- and a few hard ones, too, to create one-of-a kind soft, take-home toys. Fab, fresh and fun!
Graphic Novel –– for girls entering 4th – 6th grades
Explore narrative through creative visual storytelling!
Girls learn visual sequencing and storyboarding — a great tool that helps a storyteller focus on the key parts of a story. They learn to develop plot, character and setting through key frames layered with important details, with a focus chiefly on the visual rather than the written word. By the end of the week, each girl pens her own visual short story. They learn drawing techniques and use fun tools to add texture and color while weaving their unique narrative. Creative, visual storytelling taken to a new level!
Magic and Mystery
For girls interested in fairies, forests, magic and surprises!
Drawing on the allure of the unexplained and whimsical, Magic + Mystery captures your daughter’s imagination through projects and experiments that delight and surprise! With a focus on fairies, forests, tricks and a dash of performance savvy, instructors work with girls to explore mysteries in nature and everyday life, as well as magic in many forms — the art of the magician, magic tricks, sleight of hand, props, witches and wizards and magical creatures. Projects may include: wand- and cape- and hat-making, designing a “fairy house” and simple magic tricks!
Girls do a deep dive into the wonders of the animal kingdom!
Does you daughter love animals? This theme ties a love of creatures to a larger understanding of animals’ relationships to each other and to their natural environments. Animal admirers get a more detailed picture of types of animals, behavioral traits and relationships with ecosystems. Projects introduce girls to the classification of species, social and behavioral traits in small animals and food webs. Girls learn how animals rely on their natural habitats and how their habitats rely on them. Sometimes, classroom critter visits add to the week’s events. Favorite projects include jelly bean dichotomous keys (where girls make assumptions about taste based on appearance) and create-your-own-creature in a living environment.
Bring stories, pictures and ideas to life in a book!
Girls’ minds are bursting with stories -- this class gives them a chance to bring them out of their imagination and onto the page. Girls learn the “who, where, what and how” of storytelling. They conceptualize the characters, map out settings and learn about basic story structure -- then they dive into writing and illustrating their stories in hard-cover books! They design the front and back covers and draft their own “About the Author” bio and other imaginative sections. There is no specific skill-set required -- girls of any age can create a story in her own style.
Give it a try, and see what happens!
A fun theme for girls who like to ask “what would happen if...?” -- the day is filled with experiments of all kinds. We make our laboratory indoors and out, investigating biology, chemistry, geology, physics and energy. Measure it, mix it, make it! Girls may make slime, something that glows or things that fizz and pop. Our goal is for girls to experiment in science creatively, without worrying about a right answer -- but with a focus on learning and fun.
THEATER WORKSHOP (4th – 6th grades)
A week of mixed media, storytelling and choreography – with a weekend performance!
At the end of July, we are offering a one-week specialty Theater Workshop at out Gowanus workspace – mixed media and choreography, with a weekend performance! This is all designed through the lens of Camera Obscura, an amazing technique that causes images to be reflected in large-scale reverse, like being inside a giant, pin-hole camera. What can storytelling be like with Camera Obscura? A kaleidoscope, zoetrope and roller coaster loop combined... so cool!
Girls will work with female artists to shape their stories through theater, dance, poetry, visual art, and whatever else they can imagine! Then they share their stories with an end-of-week performance, open to friends, family and the public. This week is in partnership with The Vanderbilt Republic, a Gowanus-based creative production agency. Space is limited to 8 girls entering 4th – 6th grades.
PORTFOLIO MASTER CLASS (7th + 8th grades)
Create an application-ready portfolio, or just come make some awesome art!
Our new two-week portfolio master class is designed specifically for rising 7th and 8th grade girls and available only at our Berkeley Carroll location this summer. This session is for girls who love art and are ready to spend a concentrated two-week period making portfolio-worthy pieces with guidance from an art instructor. Materials and techniques include pastels and cray-pas, watercolors, wire form and other 3-dimensional compositions, photographic elements, art markers and line art, and acrylic paint pieces.
MAKE IT WEAR IT
Make your own designs to wear, tote, accessorize and store!
Inspired by a recent favorite issue of our magazine, we’ve designed this new theme around fun, simple things that girls can design, make and wear! Projects include fringed and beaded t-shirt totes, no-sew zipper pouches, duct tape wallets, t-shirt scarves, morse code bracelets, Shrinky Dink pins, emoji pebble necklaces, and, of course, tiny trinket boxes to store their wearable miniatures.
Your own designs all over your room… DIY Room gets a Makeover!
It’s another CJ classic with a brand new re-do! Girls spend the week creating original decorative elements to add personal style to their space. It’s a colorful mix of objects, materials, and techniques with plenty of design learning. The fun is in the projects! A framed paint chip calendar, tied up t-shirt pillow, no-sew pretzel pillow, mini terrariums, paracord coasters, washi tape clothes-pin mirror, painted pen-and-pencil jars, and so much more. By the end of the week, girls have an array of fab new accessories for their room!
Design in miniature! Create your own composition, people, furniture and accessories.
Starting with pre-fabricated wooden boxes as a base for their constructions, girls plan and assemble their own structure – a bounce house, magical bookstore, or indoor water park? – it could be anything! With their architect’s hat on, they think about setting, scale, and who they are designing it for. They plan out the surface finishings and add extended spaces; they design the furniture and accessories; and they incorporate all sorts of clever engineering – like a pulley-system elevator or cantilevered swimming pool for tree frogs (yes, we’ve seen this!) Girls are doing so much learning while they are making, and they constantly amaze us with their creativity. The classroom becomes their studio and miniature world. Got designer’s block? Just visit the swap shop or inspiration station. This is a super popular class, so sign up early! And for girls who’ve taken it before, we’ve added new twists and projects to keep it fresh.
In this class, it’s totally allowed… Space out! A crafty sneak peek out into our universe.
This theme focuses on the magic and mystery beyond our earth. During a week packed with activities, girls learn about the stars, constellations, nebulas, space storms, and the enormous variety in the make-up of the moon and planets. Everything revolves around creative, hands-on projects. Favorites include twirly copters, stomp rockets, lava lamps, kinetic sand, glittery moon rocks, glow in the dark resins, diy telescopes, sun prints and diy blacklights.
Girls bring their imaginative stories to color and life!
Story Lab is a new twist on an old favorite. This summer, we take all of it off the flat page and into the realm of 3-D project-making and creative invention. Girls’ minds are bursting with stories, and this class gives them a chance to visualize them in all different ways. While they develop the “who, where, what and how,” they design their characters, settings and scenarios. Projects include pandora’s box of ideas, 3-D character trees, finger puppets with their own theater and props, timeline garlands, imaginative and large-scale setting maps, and their own story portfolio to take home at the end of the week. We can’t wait for the projects ahead!