Summer 2018 is here and our Junior Speakers Summer Camp will keep your students engaged during their break. Classes are designed to help youth find their voices, build confidence and improve communication skills. Students will use their critical thinking and creativity skills to engage in interactive activities that are FUN while learning various speaking styles to effectively communicate their ideas and thoughts! Please see our class descriptions below.


General Learning Objectives (for all weeks):

Critical thinking, communication skills, research strategies, collaboration, delivery skills


6/11-6/15: Roller Coasters and Rising Costs: The Business of Theme Parks

Description: With the increasing cost of theme parks, it is important to explore their effect on the economy. In this class, students will venture into the world of theme parks and how they relate to the economy. Students will engage in collaborative discussions about rising ticket prices and how that affects accessibility to theme parks. Students will also learn about how businesses like theme parks influence the local economy. Using this knowledge, students will design a theme park using art supplies based on a certain theme. Students will present a short speech about their theme park and what it’s business model would look like. For example, if they chose to charge high prices for tickets they would need to justify that decision. Students can also choose to have a “social good” element to their theme park such as partial ticket sale funds being donated to a particular group or partnering with a charity.


6/18-6/22: How Much Water is Enough? California’s Water Supply

Description: California has been in and out of a drought for the past several years which has caused us to think about water differently. In this class, students will learn about how California has handled our ongoing drought as well as how important water is to our daily lives. Students will engage in collaborative discussion about water’s many uses and participate in fun water-related activities. The debate portion of the class will involve students forming opinions on different ways to save water and whether or not California is doing a good job so far. The major project for the class will be a mural about water conservation. Students will design and paint a mural that shows how important water is and what we can do to conserve it.


6/25-6/29: Robots: Friend or Foe?

Description: As technology gets smarter and more involved in our lives, it’s important to explore its effects. In this class, students will dive into the topic of Artificial Intelligence and robotics to learn how it affects our world. Should robots be trusted to deal with our everyday tasks or are we putting ourselves at risk by placing so much trust in their capabilities? Students will to explore this question in a collaborative group discussion. Next, students will write a short speech about the subject based on their own informed opinion. Students will also design and build their own robots and identify a purpose for that robot. Students will present their creation to the class in a short presentation.


7/9-7/13: From Antelope to Zebra: Modern Zoos

Description: Views of how animals should be treated have changed quite a bit over the years. While animal circuses are less common than they used to be, zoos and aquariums still contain hundreds of different species for us to observe and learn about, but are the animals enjoying the experience as much as we are? In this class, students will explore the world of modern zoos through student-led discussions and activities. They will learn about the treatment of animals in zoos and be challenged to form their own opinion on whether or not zoos are ethical. Students will also learn about non-traditional zoos such as “Catch and Release” zoos, wildlife reserves and animal sanctuaries. Using this knowledge, students will engage in a short-form debate about whether or not zoos should exist or whether alternatives should replace them. Students will create their own arguments to support their claims. Next, students will design their own traditional or non-traditional zoo or aquarium using art supplies. Students will present their zoo drawings to the class through a short presentation.


7/16-7/20: Horrifying But True! Life without Smartphones

Description: With the ever-growing presence of smartphones in the lives of children and young adults, it is important to identify the possible effects they may have on society. In this class, students will discuss the positive and negative effects of smartphone use in everyday life. Are smartphones actually smart? Students will debate this question in a short-form debate. Students will also work collaboratively to put together a creative and informative skit about smartphones and how they may not be as “smart” as we give them credit for.


7/23-7/27: How Funky is Your Chicken? Urban Agriculture

Description: With the increasing popularity of urban agriculture, it’s important to identify why people choose to do this and whether or not it sustainable. In this class, students will learn the basics of urban agriculture, from growing your own hydroponic vegetables to keeping chickens in your backyard! Students will discuss the pros and cons of urban agriculture and will defend their opinion in a short debate on the subject. Students will create their own arguments to support their claims. Students will also get the opportunity to design and market their own urban agriculture product or service! Using art supplies, students will create a poster advertising their product or service and present their pitch to the class. Students will learn valuable presentation skills and will engage in critical thinking as they come up with innovative ideas for urban agriculture products and services and marketing techniques.


7/30-8/3: From Mario Kart to Minecraft: The Vision of Video Games

Description: Video games have come a long way since the days of tetris and pong. Today’s games have can have complex storylines and realistic graphics. Some video games are even designed to teach children new skills. In this class, students will learn about the work that goes into their favorite video games. Basic information on game design will be provided in an accessible and fun way. Students will get to create their own mock of a game in which they can create their own plot and characters. Using art supplies, students will create one scene from the game to use as a visual aid for their marketing campaign. The project will conclude with students putting together a short pitch to encourage others to purchase their game. The other students will roleplay as investors and vote on which video games they liked the best. Students will learn valuable presentation skills and will engage in critical thinking as they come up with innovative ideas for games and marketing techniques.


8/6-8/10: Caffeinated Kids: What’s in Your Beverage?

Description: Whether it be coffee in the morning or an energy drink before soccer practice, caffeine is everywhere. In this class, students will learn about caffeine and its effects on the human body. Students will discuss and debate whether or not there should be age restrictions on energy drinks or warning labels on caffeinated beverage labels. Students will also discuss whether caffeine is the real problem as opposed to sugar. The main project for the class will be a blind taste test of various beverages, some with caffeine and some not, to see if they can taste a difference. Like scientists, students will record their observations during a lab activity. Afterward, students will present their findings to the class in a short speech.


8/13-8/17: One Man’s Trash: Public Beaches

Description: When you throw away a plastic bag, where does it go? Students will find out the answer to this and many other questions as they understand how human actions affect the natural world. In this class, students will learn about the effects of trash on the environment and in particular beaches and marine life. Students will debate whether or not recycling should be mandatory and discuss alternatives to using plastics. The main project for this class will be an art activity using recycled materials in new and different ways. Students can create art out of the material or even create a new tool or invention. Students will present their art pieces or inventions to the class accompanied by a short speech.