The biggest challenge for summer programmes is how they can truly be relevant for children aged 10 to 14, who can’t wait for summer holiday?

Andrei Dăscălescu, Teacher of Science and Educational Coordinator of the Summer School programme dedicated to middle school, has accepted this challenge and, alongside the team of teachers involved in the programme, invites middle school students to join a unique learning experience. 

Given the flexibility and diversity of the programme, every participant has the chance to discover their own approach to unraveling the intriguing mystery awaiting them upon completion of the programme.

More details about the programme, we find out from an interview with Andrei Dăscălescu and from the Summer School webpage.

How was the summer programme designed to be a relevant option for children aged 10 to 14?

Alongside my colleagues involved in the project, we devised the summer school programme to provide participants with flexibility and options based on their individual interests.

In the past, students were limited to selecting either STEAM or Expressive Arts. However, this year introduces a new approach with the introduction of a personalized program available to all participants. Children will be able to select their favorite activities from a list proposed by the teachers involved in the Summer School – Music Mystery, Exploring Detective Stories, Forensic Science, Cryptography, Public Speaking and Debate, Insight Investigators, Enigma Explorers, Creative writing, Reverse Engineering (available only in week 1).

Thus, they have the opportunity to choose 5 out of the 8 available domains, which they will then explore throughout the Summer School programme.

Variety is our central element, as we offer activities for science enthusiasts, music lovers, storytellers, or math passionates, to name just a few. Are you interested in science but would also like to try storytelling activities? You can easily choose to do so.

What is the theme of this year’s programme and how does it reflect in the daily activities?

This year’s activities are themed around “Detective Mystery” with the aim of engaging participants in solving an intriguing puzzle. Each daily activity is tailored to this theme, providing unique experiences to help children embody the role of detectives. For instance, science activities will take on the form of a Forensic Science club, where experiments involving fingerprinting, evidence collection, and hair analysis will be conducted.

The overarching goal of the programme is for participants to become proficient in their chosen fields and collaborate effectively as a team to unravel the mystery, all while enjoying the process.

Exact details of the mystery will be kept secret to maintain suspense throughout the programme.

What are the programme’s key moments?

Following each activity, children will receive an important clue to utilize at day’s end. Together with their peers, they’ll methodically attempt to unravel the mystery. By week’s end, they’ll unveil the entire narrative, discovering whether they successfully cracked the case.

Each day presents a fresh challenge, testing participants’ knowledge gained throughout the day and their teamwork skills. The prize? An advantage that could determine who solves the case.

We aim for participating students to genuinely relish this experience, viewing it as an exciting way to kick off their summer holiday. We understand the eagerly anticipated holiday, hence our programme is devised as a stimulating challenge, a fun-filled game, and a collaborative activity, rather than traditional lessons. In Summer School, more than ever, learning is experiential, game-driven, discovery-oriented, and enigmatic.