Virtual Tinkering Camp FAQ - DuPage Children's Museum

Wild Wonders  | Saturday, April 27

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Virtual Tinkering Camp Frequently Asked Questions


How long is each camp? How many camp sessions are in a camp week?
Each camp lasts one week; Monday – Friday. Each day of the week will include a Town Meeting and afternoon Open Studio time via Video Conference.

Can you provide a sample schedule for a camp day?

    • 9 – 10 a.m. | Self-guided Investigation Into the Subject
      A series of videos, websites, or prompts will be provided for each subject.
    • 10 – 11 a.m. | Town Meeting Video Conference
      During this time we’ll review the morning’s investigations, take a look at the provided materials, go over safety tips, set expectations, and look at the next project.
    • 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Dive into the project!
      Design, Engineer, Make, Think, Tinker, Test, Retest, Rethink, Remake, and Repeat.
    • 12 – 1 p.m. | Lunch
      Eat lunch and reflect on the morning of learning, growing, and investigating, and prepare for an afternoon of explorations.
    • 1 – 2 p.m. | Open Studio Video Conferencing
      Pop by Open Studio to get inspired – to start, keep going, or show off what you are working on. It’s a great time for some peer to peer learning opportunities. It’s a time to talk through challenges and learn together!
    • 2 – 2:30 p.m. | Let’s Make This Video Conference
      Each day, we’ll work through a mini-project together.
    • 2:30 – 3 p.m. | Let’s Make a Plan Video Conference
      We’ll recap the day’s work and introduce tomorrow’s work. 


Do Campers do the same activity all week long?
No. Each week will be marked by three primary builds supported by a morning and afternoon investigation/project. Each day will be different and each camp week offers different opportunities.

How much adult involvement is required for Tinkering Camp?

Tinkering Camp is designed to be open and accessible to a wide variety of families. We want your child to experience the joy of making, “aha!” moments of discovery, and feel successful (even when their project was a fantastic failure). In order to make all of that happen we will need important adult support and participation.

Your level of involvement will depend on several factors including:

  • Your Tinkerer’s ability to operate technology to access video conferencing applications, navigate video sharing sites (like YouTube), and read activity guides.
  • Your Tinkerer’s ability to complete tasks such as tearing masking tape, securing things using string/rubber bands, and using hot glue.
  • Your Tinkerer’s ability to independently problem solve, stay on task, and appreciate the exploratory nature of learning by doing. 


Generally speaking: 

  • Children ages 4 – 5 years will need an adult to assist with most projects. 
  • Children ages 6 – 7 years will need a good deal of adult assistance with some projects.
  • Children ages 8+ should typically be able to independently explore each project.


Is the camp a live video stream or is it pre-recorded?
Tinkering Camp will utilize a variety of resources including YouTube videos, online instructions, and printed activities guides that provide learning prompts. Daily Town Meetings and afternoon Open Studio time take place on live video conferencing software.

What is the approximate amount of time a camper will sit in front of a screen?
Tinkering Camp relies on students’ ability to engage with materials and ideas. The materials sent home provide instructions, the live video sessions provide context and support. There is approximately 2 hours of scheduled screen time per day. The majority of Tinkering Camp happens when interacting with materials! Make sure your Tinkerer has a dedicated workspace. 

Who will facilitate Tinkering Camp?
Dustin Thacker, Arts and Maker Specialist, will lead each Town Meeting, and will facilitate the afternoon Open Studio session along with special guests. As the Art and Maker Specialist, Dustin creates multi-disciplinary experiences that integrate art, math, and science while designing an environment that reinforces the importance of open-ended and hands-on exploration.

Will there be an opportunity to meet the camp’s facilitator?
There will be a Caregiver Information Meeting scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on the Thursday before each camp begins via video conferencing. This will be your chance to ask questions, better understand what will be in the Tinkering Kit, and how to help your child be successful in this unique virtual camp.

How will the facilitator communicate with parents throughout the camp?
In addition to the pre-camp Parent Information Meeting, a mid-week (Wednesday) email will update caregivers on camper’s progress and participation, give highlights, and offer extra support where needed. 

What type of technology will families need to access the virtual camp platform. Will a smartphone, tablet, PC, Mac, or Chromebook work?
Any computer, tablet, or phone with an internet connection can be used for participation in Tinkering Camp. Campers will need audio and video capabilities to participate in the morning Town Meetings and afternoon Open Studio sessions.

Do campers need to use a keyboard and/or mouse OR can campers watch the screen and follow along without ever having to use additional components?
Campers are expected to have video and audio connected to our morning Town Meetings and afternoon Open Studio sessions and to be able to interact appropriately during those sessions – including using the chat and other interactive features to communicate.  

How will campers/families access the online resources for camp?
Camp resources will be available through a secure online application called Bublup. By downloading Bublup, families will have access to all of the online resources, links to the video conferences and other supportive materials all in one place. After download, you will be prompted to create a username and password to use the app and you will then be invited to access the camp’s materials.

Will Campers participate in any activities that could potentially damage the technology they are using for the camp?
Yes. At the first meeting we will go through safety protocols, to protect themselves, their family, and their stuff. Campers will also receive written safety instructions to review with their adults.

Will Campers receive materials to use during the camp?
Yes. Campers will receive a Tinkering Kit for each camp which includes essential (non-consumable) items to complete projects. Kits can be picked up at the Museum the week prior to camp ond designated days/times, or they can be delivered for a $25 fee.

Will Campers need any household items or supplies in addition to the provided kits to participate in the camp?
Campers are encouraged to create a Reuse Center and start collecting “potentially useful” materials two weeks before camp. This could include a wide variety of recyclables: cardboard boxes and tubes (of all kinds), caps and lids, containers and canisters of all sizes. Your Reuse Center could also include a wide variety of random household items:  paperclips, straws, string or yarn, coffee stirrers, clothespins, etc.