Watts Up Design Challenge
Grades: 5-8

Watts Up with you!? Experiment with energy and how to make it power your life; from hydroelectric turbines to solar energy cars. Teams of campers will participate in collaborative design challenges to build awesome energy generating devices and compare their outputs, functions and effectiveness.

21st Century & SEL Skill Focus: Collaboration, Responsibilty, Problem Solving. Learn more about other skills we build through The EDMO Method.

Sample Projects

Hydroelectric Turbine

Hydroelectric Turbine

Campers work together to build a working hydroelectric generator that transforms mechanical energy into electric energy.

Campers learn about the conversion of mechanical energy (generated by a spinning turbine) into electrical energy through the use of a turbine powered generator. Campers will also learn about the concepts of work, power, current, and potential voltage.

Solar Cars

Solar Cars

Campers use a variety of materials including motors, wires, gears, and photovoltaic solar cells to design, build and test a working prototype of a solar car.

Campers learn about the conversion of light energy from the sun into electrical energy that can power a motor to drive a car. Campers will also learn about  the efficiency photovoltaic solar panels and how to measure what is needed to power your load.


Solar Oven

Solar Oven

Campers work together to design and build a working solar oven that they will then use to cook their lunch!

Campers learn about the conversion of light energy provided by the sun’s radiation into thermal energy that can be used to produce heat – all without the use of electricity!

Meet the Writer

Ryan Kochevar
Ryan Kochevar

Ryan is thrilled to be the EDMO Science/Maker and PRO Park Curriculum Writer! Before joining EDMO full-time as an Education Coordinator, Ryan was a third and fourth grade teacher in Albany, CA. He holds a multi-subject, California Teacher’s Credential. Ryan also has formal experience in the solar industry, renewable energy and environmental science. He’s excited to bring this first-hand knowledge to his summer programs! Ryan is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology. Ryan is a Renaissance man with a DIY-spirit and passion for tinkering and making his own machines. During the summer, you can find Ryan in Alameda as the Camp Director. When not working with EDMO, Ryan is spending time with his wife, Nellie, and his son, Jackson.

Extend the Learning

In PM Extended Day (3:00-6:00PM): Campers will continue their park exploration with extended activities using e-bird. Campers will also have an opportunity to enjoy outside game and maker projects.


Sample Program Schedule

Some kids thrive on routines and harmony. Others not so much. Good news! We’ve found the secret recipe that works for all EDMO campers!

Day/Time Click Each Activity Below to Learn More
8:00-9:00AM AM Program

During our EDMO PRO AM Program, campers will have time in the “Hang Time” room with access to music, games, computers, and maker supplies.  The AM Program allows campers time to engage and wake up for the day.

8:50-9:00AM Drop-Off

Be greeted by name or a high five by a professional staff member…dressed in a mermaid costume or a Viking hat. In a hurry? Pull up and we’ll open the door for you. In no rush? Park your car, come right in and shake your counselor’s fin.

9:00-9:30AM Opening Huddle

Your morning Huddle will get your gears spinning and your thoughts pumping.  Get to know your fellow campers and jump start the day with games, high fives and jokes.

9:30-10:30AM Lab 1

During this enrichment lab time, campers really get into the weekly theme and curriculum. Campers delve into the weekly subject, learn new skills and design and create weekly projects.

10:30-10:45AM Snack

Active minds lead to hungry bellies! Don’t forget to pack a healthy snack for your camper every morning…with no nuts of course! Remember: If you ordered a delicious lunch you automatically receive a healthy morning snack!

10:45-11:15AM Real Time

Each day EDMO PRO campers will have 20-30 minutes of team and leadership building.

11:15AM-12:15PM Lab 2

During this enrichment lab time, campers really get into the weekly theme and curriculum. Campers delve into the weekly subject, learn new skills and design and create weekly projects.

12:15-12:45PM Lunch

Add a delicious lunch each day. It’s a snap! Just click/check the lunch box on your enrollment form and a quality lunch will be delivered to camp daily. Rather pack your own lunch? Please just do not bring any products that contain: cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, pine nuts, walnuts or heaven forbid, the “‘Mother of All Nut Allergies”—the peanut.

12:45-1:20PM Hang Time

Each day EDMO PRO campers will have 20-30 minutes of free choice time. EDMO PRO campers can spend time outside playing games and will also be able to spend time in the “Hang Time” room with access to music, games, computers, and maker supplies.  

1:20-2:40PM Lab 3

During this enrichment lab time, campers really get into the weekly theme and curriculum. Campers delve into the weekly subject, learn new skills and design and create weekly projects.

2:40-3:00PM Closing Huddle

Closing Huddle is your daily wrap up!  This is the part of the day when you can really let your campy side out with songs, skits and improv! Make sure you save all of your projects before you’re rolling on the floor laughing! #roll

3:00-3:15PM Pick-Up

Have your camper check themselves out and/or pull up or walk up, whichever you fancy. Either way we’ll make a point to let you know something special about your child’s day.Pull up or walk up, whichever you fancy. Look out for our daily email from the Camp Director detailing the activities at your camp location, along with a reminder to visit EDMO At Home to see what to look forward to tomorrow and suggested activities, books, websites, museum exhibitions, and more ways to keep the curiosity going.

3:15-6:00PM PM Extended Day, PM Snack & Free Play

During our EDMO PRO PM Program, campers are given time to have snack and free play before continuing structured enrichment projects. Enrichment projects will follow the program theme of the week. EDMO PRO campers will also have the option to spend time in the “Hang Time” room with access to music, games, computers, and maker supplies.  

More Good Things to Know

  • Camp Facts
  • In Every Program
  • Camper Age(Please note: Spring Break Camp is only for EDMO campers; entering K-4th grade)
    • EDMO JR–Campers must be at least 4 years of age by June 1 to enroll in camp. We also ask that campers be fully potty trained and used to attending a full day program.
    • EDMOCampers are divided into entering K-1st graders and 2nd–4th graders, with each group’s activities based on their age level. The youngest campers must be at least 5 years of age by June 1 or entering Kindergarten in the fall.
    • EDMO PRO–Campers must be entering 5th grade through 8th grade in the fall. 
  • Ratios:  (Please note: there is no EDMO JR or PRO at our Spring Break camps)
    • EDMO & EDMO PRO–We maintain a camper:staff ratio of 8:1 during all instructional camp activities.
    • EDMO JR– We keep our camper:staff ratio to 6:1…especially when activities involve tying knots, cutting, gluing, or glitter…definitely glitter.
  • Groups: Campers are grouped with kids within 1-2 years of their own age. Groups can range from 10-25 kids.
  • Buddy & Bestie Requests: Let us know if you’d like your child to be grouped with specific friends. We’ll do our best to honor those requests. However sometimes circumstances like large age differences, “frenemy” behavior or camper:staff ratios preclude us from being able to group kids together. We’ll let you know if that happens.
  • All Camp Times: In case your kids are in different age groups, don’t worry, they’ll still see each other. Every day we make time to hang out with our staff, camp friends and siblings during camp rallies, morning and afternoon breaks, lunch time, and some parts of outdoor recreation.
  • Safety: CPR/First Aid certified staff members are present on-site at all times, including field trips. Background checks are performed on all staff.
  • Camp Drop Off & Pick Up: 
    • Arrive at Camp Late? Should you arrive after 9:10AM, please find a legal parking space, walk your child/children into camp and sign in with the Camp Director.
    • Want to Talk to a Staff Member? We’d love for you to come into camp? Please come early, find a legal parking space and look for the sign in table.
    • Picking Up Late? Please note if you are not enrolled in our PM Program, your account will be charged the “a la carte” rate of $15/hr for any portion of an hour.
  • Equipment: We use high-quality equipment and age-appropriate software to create digital works of art, sure to impress friends and family. Plus many of the skills kids build whelp unlock the hidden creative potential of your home computer! 
  • Computers: Please note that in some of our technology programs feature group projects that require sharing computers. This helps kids develop 21st Century Skills like collaboration and results in more innovative projects–plus, it’s a heck of a lot more fun!
  • Behavior: We’ll work with you to develop an Action Plan if your child is having a hard time adjusting to camp. Unfortunately, if he or she repeatedly detracts from the camp experience of kids and staff or compromises the safety of others, we may ask you to pick your child up from camp.
  • Special Needs: If your child requires an aide at school, we ask that you please provide an aide for them at camp, complete this form and notify the Camp Director at your location prior to the week your child is attending camp. If you reside in Marin County, you may contact SummerAde and they will individually pair your child with a qualified teen volunteer. 
  • Modified Activities: On rare occasions we may need to modify weekly activities due to weather, material availability, time constraints, or the kid who spilled the entire jar of cabbage juice for the project.
  • Camper Projects: Once summer arrives, campers will be able to access the digital projects they create at camp via EDMO At Home. Projects will be available by the Monday following the week they were at camp. Details on how to access your camper’s projects, and any programs which will need to be purchased or downloaded in order to open them, will be outlined on our website and in your welcome packet prior to the beginning of camp. Prefer using a USB? Feel free to bring one from home.
  • Camp Satisfaction: If you are unsatisfied with your child’s camp experience, please contact your Camp Director. Camp Directors will respond to verbal or written parental concerns within 24 hours and schedule an Action Plan meeting to improve your camp experience. If you are unable to reach the Camp Director, you may contact the Home Office. In the case a situation is not resolved, please complete our Money Back Guarantee Form after camp begins.
  • Maker Sessions: Have any unwanted recycling around the house? Feel free to bring any plastic containers, cardboard, empty ribbon spools, and more camp-safe items to camp to deposit in your location’s “EDMO Maker Bank”!
  • Nature (Park) Program Specifics:
    Groups: Campers are divided into two groups, K-1st graders and 2nd–4th graders with each group’s activities based on their age level. Our 5th-8th grade EDMO PRO campers are grouped together. Groups for campers are generally 10-25 kids.
    Field Trips: Campers in 2nd-4th Grade go on off site Field Trips as part of our Nature (Park) program. There is also an off site field trip during one week of camp at our SF-Bernal/Portola camp location. For our off site Field Trips We have chartered buses to comfortably and safely transport campers who are attending field trips from one place to another around the Bay. Most field trips return to the park by 2:30PM. If there is a field trip you do not wish your child to attend, we may have space for them to stay with the younger group. We suggest you confirm this with the home office at 415.282.6673 or 877.993.6673 in advance.We also have an on site Field Trip with special Guest Presenters during select week(s) at our Rocklin-Sierra College camp location.
    Inclement Weather: Although some of our locations have protected areas in case it’s cold or wet outside, we usually advise parents to pack sweatshirts for their children so that they are prepared when the temperature is cool. There are also protected areas at each of the different field trip locations that our older campers will be visiting.
    Park Location Safety Gear: Every Pre-K-4th grade camper receives a distinctive orange bandana with their name on it in our Nature (Park) program. It is MANDATORY that campers wear their orange bandanas so they are easily visible the entire camp day.

Every Day

The Vibe Game

Throughout the day, campers get a chance to earn special “EDMO Vibe Cards” that recognize actions that exemplify The EDMO Vibe. Visit our EDMO Vibe Game page to learn more about how we build 21st Century Life Skills in campers.

Daily Download

Parents receive a daily email from their Camp Director with updates about their camp location and links to EDMO at Home for details about what their child is doing today and tomorrow, as well as resources for fostering more curiosity at home.

Healthy Lunch & Snack Option (Available at select locations during summer only)

Enjoy a break from making lunch. Our lunch providers deliver a hot or cold meal to camp. Visit your location page to learn more about the lunch and snacks available at your location.

Extended Day Program

Can’t drop off at 9:00AM or pick up at 3:00PM? No problem. We’ve got you covered from 8:00AM-6:00PM. Enroll in 2 or more camp weeks to get 40% Off our AM/PM Program. AM (8:00-9:00AM) and PM (3:00-6:00PM).

Monday – Friday

Marvelous Monday (Summer Only)

What could be more marvelous than starting a week at camp. Every Monday, parents receive a printed handout that includes a schedule for the week. Campers usually receive their camp t-shirt on Mondays as well.

EDMO JR parents, come to our Morning Greet and meet your child’s Camp Instructor and counselors! It’s time to mingle and meet staff, as well as see the campus and program classroom.

Tremendous Tuesday (and T-Shirt Challenge)

T-shirt challenges are designed to help campers rock the EDMO Vibe at home! If you complete the week’s challenge by end of day Thursday, campers earn a special “Plus Card” on Friday at camp. Check out the Resource Section to see a list of the summers T-Shirt Challenge themes!

K-1 parents, come to our Morning Greet and meet your child’s Camp Instructor and counselors! It’s time to mingle and meet staff, as well as see the campus and program classroom.

Wacky Wednesday

Kids love this special all-camp day. It could be Water Day, Color War Day or Game Day with scavenger hunts, capture the monkey and more! Our staff may know what’s in store but campers will just know it’s going to be filled with wacky fun! (NOTE: Our EDMO JR campers do not participate in Wacky Wednesday.)

2-4 parents, come to our Morning Greet and meet your child’s Camp Instructor and counselors! It’s time to mingle and meet staff, as well as see the campus and program classroom.

Thursday Dress Up Day

It’s not camp if you can’t dress a little weird…at least once a week! Each Thursday has a special dress up theme to get campers into the camp spirit and parents into that box of old Halloween costumes…one more time. 

Thursday is also the day that parents receive a link to our Parent Survey.

“My son gained the confidence to speak up to his partner today in sharing more of the design aspects with him. He really wanted to help more with the mapping/designing. He spoke up and worked it out. Awesome moment for him since he can have a hard time speaking up for himself. ”
– 5th Grade, Larkspur Parent

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