The learning center was covered in colored strings of goo, but this was no science lab disaster. Rather, the messy Silly String strands were a sure sign of success.
Last week, Sage Tutoring held its first official enrichment workshop since the center’s grand opening in August. The workshop, “Calling All Hackers” introduced students to computer programming and mico-controllers. On Nov. 3, six students also participated in the first “To the Atom and Beyond” workshop, learning about chemistry and physics.
In the computer workshop, students built circuits to light up LED’s, spun motors and learned about sensors. The class finished by putting these individual components together to rig an electronic “Silly String Shooter.”
An infrared sensor detected movement, which triggered a motor to turn, cranking a coat hanger rigged to the nozzle of a can of Silly String.
“We exploded things, we melted things, we failed, but in the end, we did it,” said Natalie Doocy, a seventh-grade student at Summit Middle School.
Sage Tutoring has been providing in-home tutoring services since 2009. Owner and director Carla Cammarata said she was excited to have a new location, because they now have the space for instructors to share knowledge in a collaborative, open environment.
“For an after-school program, unless a student is really into science, it can be a challenge to get them in there,” she said. “We want every student who walks in the door to get excited about science.”
Cammarata, a former flavor chemist, co-taught the course on chemistry with another staff member and former classroom chemistry teacher. They introduced the students — grades four through eight — to atoms, molecules and their properties by letting the students create their own natural soda flavors from essential oils.
“With a higher volume of students you see more collaboration and interaction,” she said. “Students can bounce ideas off each other.”
Two other workshops, one focused on art and another on creative writing, will take place later this year. Cammarata said she is excited to reach a wider audience and get students engaged in learning.
“What we’re doing is so different,” she said. “It’s areas of science some kids wouldn’t have known existed. It’s creating genuine excitement.”
To learn more about the services provided by Sage Tutoring and their costs, visit www.sagetutoring.com or call 368-3135.
“For an after-school program, unless a student is really into science, it can be a challenge to get them in there. We want every student who walks in the door to get excited about science.”
Sage Tutoring owner and director