The Jerusalem HackerCamp (run by The LearningWorks) is part of Google Education, part of the Maker Camp consortium, and comes from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. We do technology, design, and engineering and lots of people say we’re “a robotics camp,” probably because it’s hard to say everything we really do.
That would be. . . web design, computer networking and security, woodwork, metalwork, Minecraft, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, science projects made from junk, electronics projects, physics experiments, mobile apps, chemistry experiments, cell and protein analysis under the microscope. . . and yes, we ALSO do robotics.
The LearningWorks lab includes:
CAD modeling and 3D Printing
Powerful multi-platform computing environment
1,120,000 LEGOs including 80 robotic development sets, 24 trains and 800m
High-powered telescopes, lasers, optical experiments
Radio and microwave communications tools
Microscopes, a chemistry lab, a particle accelerator
Lightsabers, a TARDIS… and we make cookies.
We do amazing field trips, morning bike-rides (optional), astronomy nights, radio fox-hunts in Gan Sacher, sleepovers (when possible), camping trips and movie nights.
Past Field Trips Have Been To: Mobileye, Facebook, Osem/Teva logistical, Aeronautics, Algae farms, 2 Water Desalination Plants, Dimona, Bright Source, the Iriya Engineering Dept, Intel, Microsoft, Google and a 3d Printing Factory.
Space is limited with a very high staff-student ratio. Candidates will be interviewed.
Do you want to join the coolest geeks in Jerusalem?Camp Reservations
JHC will be held at the LearningWorks Three Rooms Campus, in the ORT Pelech school. That’s on Rehov Dov Yosef, near the stadiums and Tzomet Pat in Jerusalem.
Some activities are also held at TLW’s HackerSpace in Arnona
Our Head Teacher is Shaiel Yitzchak. He has 26 years of experience in formal and
informal education, and 15 years of experience working in high-tech, in Israel and in the US. Shaiel is fascinated by group dynamics and by teamwork. He’s especially interested in getting children to break through their own barriers and helping them raise their level of inquiry. And students seem to have a bit of fun around him, despite his sense of humor.
Ariel Hershler joined The LearningWorks in 2014. He holds an engineering degree and is a certified teacher. He has 31 years of experience in formal and informal education as well as 28 years of experience in the high-tech industry, including 3 successful “exits.” Ariel is deeply moved by the child’s ability to cross barriers, to adapt and to do (what they thought was) the impossible. During the school year, Ariel can be spotted in various schools around Jerusalem and Gush Etziyon teaching graduate-level programming to 3rd graders.
TLW hires some of the most amazing staff that can be found. Anywhere. We are proud of our (very) high staff-student ratio. When possible, we hire from within, and we believe strongly in our interns who have usually been our students for years. Communication and encouragement are prime considerations in who we accept as LearningWorks staff. And, just, overall awesomeness.
We work with ages 7-16, though we have made a few exceptions. We select the makeup of each learning group very carefully. All students must fill out the application, and there is a short interview for each applicant.
Mostly, our application makes sure the fit is right; It is designed BY students, FOR students, and though it has happened a few times, it is very rare for us to guide kids who enjoyed writing the application, elsewhere.
But we do want them to adapt quickly, easily, and effectively to the JHC culture, and this works better when they interview.
We are primarily looking for students who wish to be engaged in their own learning process. Age and background matter less than a student’s fascinations, their drive, and that they genuinely enjoy learning. It’s nice if your child is technologically and/or scientifically inclined – but as long as they’re curious, we can take care of the rest.
(16 year-olds who have been with us for two years or more are often invited to be CITs, and CITs are our most highly-preferred group to become staff members.)
We seek the Holy Grail. (You should have known that, come on.)
Seriously though. The LearningWorks’ mission is: To transform our students’ roles in their education from ‘passenger’ into ‘pilot.’ The best way we have found to do this is by having huge amounts of fun while learning with them. We put a lot of effort into the growth mindset – and as such, multiple failures will be required.
No. The robot kits your child works with cost several thousand sheqel each. Your child can take home some of the other projects they build. And full term students usually take home a rPi system.
Jerusalem is a great place for bicycling. Cycling gives kids a sense of independence, responsibility and achievement.
We’re very careful. We might take a round-about route which is safer – even if some of the students could take a shortcut with their eyes closed. We never race. The point is to enjoy each others company.
There are other options for our cycling activities, and none of them are required. But everyone who rides with us has a great time.
Robotics and STEM subjects are ideal playgrounds for the development of personal creativity and problem-solving skills, communication and effective teamwork. The LearningWorks is hardly the only place a student can learn robotics or engineering (although we really are very good!) But few programs are better than we are at pinpointing a students’ motivation, at making them excited to learn, or at raising their expectation level of themselves.
To this end, we group students based on interest and social capabilities rather than by age. Your nine year-old may work with someone who’s fifteen, but who agrees that the wheel base of their current design will work best with thin tires of large diameter.
Similarly, you may find your fifteen year-old working with someone younger, who has some social intelligence your child would benefit from being around.
We are eager to show that physics, engineering and technology are good subjects in which to develop expertise. . . But also that the thinking skills used to grasp these subjects can be applied to most aspects of life, and certainly to all subjects in school.
Creativity is the start, not the end of innovation. It’s good to be creative – but in 2017 we want our students to apply their creativity to coming up with real-world solutions. This requires a deep understanding of things, so teaching effective research is one of our primary goals as well. Our First Lego League teams often take the Research and Innovation prizes at tournaments. . . but we have recently started taking other prizes as well.
The LearningWorks is an educational partner of Google. We really like students to learn by making things. We teach several levels of engineering and construction, from pillars and ‘brick’ supporting walls to suspension bridges and large buildings. We also build a wide range of mechanical models – from simple machines (levers, inclined planes) to wheeled and treaded vehicles on tracks and off.
We have one of the best educational robotics labs in Israel, making use of 1.12 million (!!) LEGO elements. Our students, unleashed, would be able to have 80 robots operate 24 trains and 32 motorized vehicles simultaneously in a city of roads and tracks they create, while a (student-programmed) Raspberry Pi creates a timelapse of them assembling the city. . . While yet ANOTHER student team creates the soundtrack for said timelapse.
Old City-Week stop motion: click HERE.
Newer City-Week stop motion: click HERE.
The LearningWorks uses Lego’s NXT and EV3 platforms, as well as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, Orange Pi, Edison, Alice, CoderZ, MIT’s app-building platform for Android, and between the writing and publishing of this list, probably three or four others, too.
Full-term LearningWorks students receive a Raspberry Pi. Lesser mortals can buy them at cost if they made a project cool enough to take home.
As part of the Google MakerCamp program, we often make recycled junk into science projects (like 3 hair dryers and a vacuum cleaner which, inexplicably, became a cotton candy machine). We make old technology into new computers, do woodworking projects and we have just started dabbling with CAD modeling and 3-D printing. But as exciting as students find these cutting-edge technologies, we see them as vehicles for our real core values.
No. Students are required to frown at least 7 times daily.
Seriously, it’s geeks working with geeks. With hand tools, power tools, computers, motors and 1.12 million LEGOs. Of course it’s fun. Kids often stay late to ‘work’ on their Lego skyscrapers, to build dog-houses from dismantled wooden pallets, or to finish tweaking the network (or hacking it).
This is fertile ground for friendships to become *very* strong – in a way that can only be cemented by sharing your work with someone. We’re happy to give you names of parents you can talk with.
If you’re not convinced, take a look at THIS student-made film.
Or, THIS student-film, which was not so much as touched by any counselor. . . all the way from planning, to filming and editing, to stapling the green screen fabric into its frame! Bonus – if, during their interview, your child names every background in this video, we will give you 100nis off tuition. And, an ice cream!)
Or THIS student-made film, of the train camera during last year’s City Week.
But yes, while it’s rare, there does exist the possibility of a small amount of fun.