Welcome to Camps for 4th - 5th Graders!

We invite our campers entering 4th and 5th grade to choose from a variety of dynamic offerings located at our beautiful Hillsborough campus. You will find descriptions of all our offerings below the schedule. Please note that many of our summer camps will vary over the course of the five-week session to allow returning campers the opportunity to build upon their interests.

New to Nueva Summer? Register here:

Returning to Nueva Summer in 2017? Please follow this link to the Parent Dashboard:

Please check back in January to explore both our half-day intensives program and Nueva Expedition, our new week-long intensive program for high-ability students entering first through fourth grade. These programs aim to provide further opportunities for middle school students to take deep dives guided by Nueva educators from all three divisions and professors from around the Bay Area.


2017 Schedule:

Daily Schedule  
Block A Captured Moment: The Art of Digital Photography                Strategic Games: Games of Skill and Chance Electronic Music Production Design Thinking: Master Builders
Block B Rube Goldberg: Machines in Motion Rock Climbing  Game-Making  Eco-Explorers: Ecology of Nueva

Block C

Mixed Media: Visual Arts Table Tennis and Beyond: Net Sports Uke!: Ukelele Workshop Design Thinking: Outdoor Building
Block D How Things Work: The Science of Stuff  Computer Science: Minecraft and Scratch Foodies: A Delicious Deep-Dive into Food History Super Scientist: Chemistry

Interdisciplinary Studies:

Computer Science: Minecraft and Scratch –
Minecraft is an online game where players use digital blocks to build nearly anything they can imagine — tools, critters, shelters, cities, and more. Campers will face new challenges each day as they learn the various design elements of Minecraft and how to design unique worlds. Playing Minecraft at Nueva in the summer provides campers with the opportunity to work as a team, give and take directions, and solve problems. During camp, architectural accuracy and good player-to-player interactions will be developed and encouraged. While primarily focused on Minecraft, interested students may also receive introductions to programming languages such as Scratch.

Design Thinking: Master Builders —
In Master Builders, campers will explore and design their own creative spaces, from early prototypes to refined models. Our design students will utilize the Design Thinking process as they plan, design, iterate, and build their own models of useful and imaginative spaces. Ideas will evolve and expand over the week as students make choices about aesthetics, materials, furnishings, and function. As students learn and explore design processes, they will build strong foundations for creative decision-making and user-focused design, which can be applied broadly and across disciplines.

Design Thinking: Outdoor Building —
Decades of children have played in the area of campus we call "the forts," constructing their own realities and working through the interpersonal challenges of creating a new community. In our Outdoor Building course, campers can expect to interact with the natural world in designing and prototyping shelters, terrain, habitats, and more. Using aspects of Nueva's Design Thinking process, we work together to create and solve challenges in a beautiful, outdoor space.

Eco-Explorers: Ecology of Nueva —
Campers in our Eco-Explorers offering will spend much of the session on Nueva’s 33 acres of beautiful coastal foothills terrain, studying ecology on our forested trail network. Whether building rich intellectual connections through the etymology of our plants’ scientific names or experiencing rapture while glimpsing a magnificent bird overhead, Eco-Explorers aims to provide a foundation for a meaningful, life-long relationship with the environment. This is an active outdoor class; students are asked to wear appropriate clothing.

Foodies: A Delicious Deep-Dive into Food History —
Ever wonder how certain foods became associated with particular areas of the world? Join us as we explore different regional cuisines and learn how trade, farming techniques, and culinary trends have shaped the history of food. During the course, campers will make a variety of dishes and have an opportunity to travel across time and continents through a Delicious Deep-Dive into Food History.

Game-Making —
In our Game-Making camp, campers will immerse themselves in the world of constructing fun, challenging games. Campers will analyze the instructions and gameplay of several award-winning games in order to better understand how to create a game that is accessible and fun for all players. Over the course of the week, campers will create their own game, write instructions for gameplay, and build a final version to take home and share with friends and family during the rest of the summer.

How Things Work: The Science of Stuff —

There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it. — Charles Kettering
We can talk about all of the things we know, but to truly understand the forces and objects that surround us is something else completely. In this camp we will discuss, disassemble, and examine the world around us. Each day will focus on a different machine, topic, or phenomenon to explore. By studying models, taking things apart, and “learning by doing,” campers will gain a deeper understanding of how things work.

Rube Goldberg: Machines in Motion —

What is a Rube Goldberg machine? Remember the comically complex contraptions that perform basic tasks in the game "Mouse Trap"? Campers will explore the physics and construction of simple machines and engineering gadgets to build their own Rube Goldberg machines. During the week, campers will gain skills in engineering, creativity, and collaboration.

Strategic Games: Games of Skill and Chance —

A week in our incredibly popular Strategic Games camp will provide campers with an opportunity to get absorbed in amazing games with their peers. Our counselors will curate and guide the campers through a variety of games that will develop problem-solving skills while also setting the table for competitive fun. From quick, two-player, mathematical games such as “Lost Cities” to longer and more expansive strategy games like “Settlers of Catan,” our Strategic Games camp is the place to discover new games and revisit some old favorites.

Super Scientist: Chemistry —

Throw on your lab coat and goggles, grab your notebook, and enter the amazing world of the super scientist! In this inquiry-based science camp, students will explore the amazing world of chemistry and discover the construction and fascinating properties of matter. Campers will explore the scientific process and experience the joy of discovery as they develop hypotheses and test theories through hands-on experiments.

Creative Arts:

Captured Moment: The Art of Digital Photography —
Learn the art of photography and change the way you see the world! We will embark on a new, exciting adventure each day, from outdoor scavenger hunts to photo storytelling. Campers will take action pictures on the playground, snap close-ups of bugs, shoot pictures of plants and leaves in the woods, and compose playful portraits of new and old friends. During the week, our photographers will learn the basics of composition, editing techniques, peer critique, and lighting. Returning campers will have the opportunity to build on their skills while focusing on the aspect of photography they enjoy most. All equipment provided!

Electronic Music Production —
Current electronic music artists have propelled electronic dance music from the underground to the mainstream, creating a new and exciting musical genre full of creativity and fused with modern technology. In our electronic music class, campers will learn the basics of EDM and beyond through GarageBand and other digital sequencing software. Whether you want to spin at a club, be the next festival superstar, or just pick up a new hobby, our hands-on instruction will teach you the fundamentals of electronic music, including basic music theory, song structure, mixing, recording, looping, and editing. Come join us and jam!

Mixed Media: Visual Arts —
In our Visual Arts camp, artists will have the opportunity to work on creative projects in a variety of mediums aimed at developing their skills and artistic expression. Students may experiment with clay, paint, collage, found objects, and natural materials. Projects will vary from week to week in order to both accommodate returning campers and allow for greater depth of discovery within a given medium. Nueva in the summer is the perfect place to take artistic risks and find a new outlet for expression.

Uke!: Ukelele Workshop —
It's small, portable, easy to learn, and sounds great: It's a ukulele! Whether you've been playing for years or have never held a ukulele before, join us! Starting from the basics, campers will learn to read tabs, play chords, and perform together. Ukuleles will be available if you don’t have one.


Rock Climbing —
Students in our Rock Climbing camp will learn the foundations of safe climbing and belaying on Nueva’s indoor rock wall. Climbers set daily climbing goals and challenge themselves to develop concentration skills and physical techniques needed to reach for the top. The daily challenges of climbing and creating their own unique routes up the rock face will keep campers on their toes! No prior climbing experience is necessary.

Table Tennis and Beyond: Net Sports —
Come learn the rules and skills involved in table tennis, pickle ball and badminton! Then practice your new skills in round-robin play and tournaments to take your game to the next level! All levels welcome, beginner to advanced.


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